I would like to publish a python module and would like to publish it as the same license of python

Below is a example of how Perl module does:

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

in Python 2.7 license:

(1) GPL-compatible doesn't mean that we're distributing Python under the GPL. All Python licenses, unlike the GPL, let you distribute a modified version without making your changes open source. The GPL-compatible licenses make it possible to combine Python with other software that is released under the GPL; the others don't.

So if I use GPL as my modules license, shall I also need to hightlight: let you distribute a modified version without making your changes open source.

1 Answer 1


What you highlighted out of the Python license documentation is an informal footnote and not actually part of the license itself.

What the footnote says is that it is possible to combine Python and 3rd-party, GPL-licensed, libraries in one product, but that the Python license also allows you to make closed-source modifications to Python itself. The latter is not possible under the GPL license.

If you choose to use the GPL license for your modules, then by that choice you are forbidding other from making closed-source derivatives of your module.

  • Is the informal footnote serious and legally valid? What will happen if python.org suddenly withdraw the footnote?
    – Boying
    Dec 31, 2015 at 2:49
  • 1
    The footnote is valid but has no legal implications of its own. It is just a clarification in normal English of what the actual license text means when you compare the various licenses that Python has been released under over the years with the GPL. Dec 31, 2015 at 11:08
  • Well I just want to use the same as Python, but if I fill the license part, I have to choose form [GPL,MIT,BSD...] not a GPL with footnote. Feeling funny. Maybe BSD is better license for Python.org
    – Boying
    Dec 31, 2015 at 15:41
  • The Python license is not "GPL with footnote". It is a completely separate license that was specifically written for licensing the Python interpreter and standard libraries, which are owned by the Python Software Foundation. Jan 1, 2016 at 10:45
  • 1
    The BSD license is closer in spirit to the Python license than the GPL. Jan 1, 2016 at 10:45

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