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From GPLv3 Wiki

This page discusses in practical terms how the GPLv3 would be applied in particular scenarios. For example:

  • How you would use a work licensed under version 2 or any later version under version 3.
  • How to add additional terms as permitted by section 7.
  • How the license would interact with other common free software licenses.

This text has not been approved by FSF yet. It could be totally wrong! Or the GPLv3 draft could change. If you have questions about how GPLv2 works, see the current FAQ. If you have questions on GPLv3, see the rationale document.

How to license your program under version 3 of the GPL

If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms.

To do so, attach the following notices to the program. It is safest to attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

   <one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what it does.>
   Copyright (C) <year>  <name of author>
   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
   the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or
   (at your option) any later version.
   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
   but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
   GNU General Public License for more details.
   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
   along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation,
   Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301  USA

Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.

If the program does terminal interaction, make it output a short notice like this when it starts in an interactive mode:

   Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) year  name of author
   Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
   This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
   under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the appropriate parts of the General Public License. Of course, the commands you use may be called something other than `show w' and `show c'; for a GUI interface, you would use an "About box" instead.

You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names:

 Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program
 `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.
 <signature of Ty Coon>, 1 April 1989
 Ty Coon, President of Vice

For more information on how to apply and follow the GNU GPL, see

The GNU General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Lesser General Public License instead of this License.

How to spell GPLv3

Capital G, capital P, capital L, lowercase v, numeral 3.

Licenses compatible with GPLv3

All licenses which were compatible with GPLv2 are compatible with GPLv3. In addition, the following licenses are compatible with GPLv3:

  • The Affero General Public License, version 1.0
  • The Apache Software License, version 1.1
  • The Apache Software License, version 2.0
  • The PHP license, version 3.01

See Compatible licenses.