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How do you opt into one software license and not the other when the distributor gives the consumer more than one choice?

For example I would like to use the DataTables JavaScript library in my web application. According to their web site, "DataTables is dual licensed under the GPL v2 license or a BSD (3-point) license."

Furthermore, the source code of the JavaScript library has this text that calls out both licenses:

/**
 * @summary     DataTables
 * @description Paginate, search and sort HTML tables
 * @version     1.9.4
 * @file        jquery.dataTables.js
 * @author      Allan Jardine (www.sprymedia.co.uk)
 * @contact     www.sprymedia.co.uk/contact
 *
 * @copyright Copyright 2008-2012 Allan Jardine, all rights reserved.
 *
 * This source file is free software, under either the GPL v2 license or a
 * BSD style license, available at:
 *   http://datatables.net/license_gpl2
 *   http://datatables.net/license_bsd
 * 
 * This source file is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but 
 * WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY 
 * or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the license files for details.
 * 
 * For details please refer to: http://www.datatables.net
 */

Finally, the web pages with the licensing text (e.g. the DataTables BSD license page) has this statement: "DataTables is made available under both the GPL v2 license and a BSD (3-point) style license. You can select which one you wish to use the DataTables code under."

My specific question is "how do you select which one you want to use." In my case, I want to only use the BSD license and I want to make it explicitly clear that I do not opt into the GPL v2 license in any way.

How do you do that and have it hold up to legal challenge?

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Since you already have a perfectly fine understanding of how dual-licensing works, your question seems narrowly focused on a legally-airtight wording/approach, which you're unlikely to find here. I'd say simply to remove any references to the dual or GPL licensing throughout your fork of the project, and you will have made it as clear as possible that your project is BSD-only. If you want better advice than that, I'm afraid you'll need to talk to a lawyer. –  apsillers Jun 19 '13 at 23:57
    
@apsillers That's kind of what I thought too, but--being a programmer--I thought there might be a pattern that others have used. Thanks for your feedback. –  RunnerRick Jun 20 '13 at 0:21
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1 Answer

My specific question is "how do you select which one you want to use." In my case, I want to only use the BSD license and I want to make it explicitly clear that I do not opt into the GPL v2 license in any way.

You just do. Unless you don't change the source-code there, you don't even need to touch the plate. It can be stayed as is, yes, even touching it for no reason might look more suspicious then just leaving it as-is.

The licenses are offered to you btw. Into which one you opt, you can say anytime, you can choose anytime which one. The one day you might like BSD and the other day you might even use GPL. Both is possible. You can even choose both, even if they both would be incompatible to each other. Only based on the fact the original author(s) did dual-license it.

How do you do that and have it hold up to legal challenge?

No-one can predict the future, but keep references of the websites of today, so that you can document that you've taken care and you can back-up your statement that the dual-license is disjunctive (OR) and not conjunctive (AND).

As long as it's clear that you were allowed to use the software under the terms of the BSD license (and you fulfilled the requirements) I see no reason why it shouldn't hold up a legal challenge, I can not even imagine of which kind such a legal challenge would be?

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