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If a project is dual-licensed GPL & BSD, should there be one LICENSE file with the text of both licenses? Or two separate files, one for each license?

And I think I should put a copyright/license comment at the top of each source file. How should that comment indicate the dual-licensed status of the project?

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The specific project I have in mind is Pash, which was released without a LICENSE file or a header comment in the source file. See also… – Jay Bazuzi Dec 30 '12 at 22:27

To make it immediately clear that the project uses a dual licence, I would recommend to have two licence files, LICENCE.GPL and LICENCE.BSD.

Also, if your files currently have no copyright notices, they can not be legally distributed under either of those licences, because both require that a copyright notice is present in all source files (in addition to other notices required by GPL).

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Windows user will click on either, and windows will have no clue how to open a .gpl or a .bsd file. – user281377 Dec 31 '12 at 11:56
@user281377: The average Windows user does not know what a shell is. If they go as far as installing a power-shell, they should be able to think about opening such files with notepad or wordpad. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Dec 31 '12 at 12:12
@Bart: The average Windows user doesn't know what a shell is because they don't need to know. Double-clicking on a file generally takes care of that. Text files should have a .TXT extension. – Robert Harvey Dec 31 '12 at 18:17
"Average Windows User" is not a concern here: these files are for programmers who are considering making use of this source code. Also, it's common practice to name the file "LICENSE" or "COPYING", and so beyond the scope of this question. – Jay Bazuzi Dec 31 '12 at 21:48
@user281377 - Average windows user won't be concerned about what license the source code is licensed under. The target audience here is developers. – jmort253 Jan 2 '13 at 5:31

Multi-licensing allows recipients to choose from the defined list of licenses. Common practices are to provide a separate file for each license. When stating the license under which the project is being offered, make it clear that it is dual-licensed (here's an example:

You will also need to include your copyright statement at the top of the source (sample format: "Copyright © [year of completion] [entity name]. All rights reserved.")

Entente Software LLC (

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