[AstroPy] Making a GPL-v2+ Astropy affiliated package

Ole Streicher astropy at liska.ath.cx
Fri Mar 2 02:35:55 EST 2018

Hi Leo,

from a legal POV it is OK to re-use BSD licensed code in a GPL project,
like you do. You just need to keep the original license file and
copyright notice along with the files. You should (IMO) however *not*
remove the license notice from setup.py. I would recommend to adjust
that to "This file is taken from the astropy affiliated package
template, which is licensed under a 3-clause BSD style license -- see
LICENSE-affiliated.txt" or similar. That would document the origin of
the file, and you can still use it in a package that is GPL licensed as
a whole.

It may be however useful to re-think your own license. I think GPL is
fine. However, since astropy is BSD (and will stay so), it will be
impossible to take over any of your code into astropy itself (or into
one of the affiliated packages that stay BSD as well). You still can use
GPL packages (healpy and such) while having your own code under a BSD
license. I would recommend to be as liberal as possible.

Best regards


"Singer, Leo P. (GSFC-6610)" <leo.p.singer at nasa.gov> writes:
> Hi,
> I am starting the process of moving a large body of my own code [1],
> which is licensed under GPL-2+, to an Astropy affiliated package. I
> would like to keep the existing licensing.
> However, the Astropy affiliated package templated is all BSD
> licensed. Some files in my project (like setup.py and conftest.py) are
> largely unmodified from the template. Is this compatible with
> licensing my own project as a whole as GPL-2+? Is it sufficient to add
> my own LICENSE.md file, change the "Licensed under a 3-clause BSD
> style license" comment at the top of setup.py, and change the license
> entry in setup.cfg?
> Thanks,
> Leo
> ----
> Dr. Leo P. Singer
> NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
> Astroparticle Physics Laboratory
> Code 661, 8800 Greenbelt Rd.
> Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.
> [1] https://git.ligo.org/leo-singer/ligo.skymap
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> AstroPy at python.org
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