Yahoo’s GPL Cooperation Commitment

The Open Source Program Office at Yahoo believes that collaboration is essential to making great technology. We contribute to and publish many open source projects, inviting developers to work with us. Moreover, we understand the legal underpinnings that allow the open source movement to thrive. At their foundation is a license that grants permission to use, modify, and distribute someone else’s code; leveling the playing field between publisher and collaborator. Sometimes open source projects get tripped up by license issues, and this adds friction to the otherwise productive collaborations we seek. We want to reduce the friction.

The majority of the code we publish uses permissive open source licenses, such as Apache License 2.0, a form of the BSD license, or the MIT license. These grant license rights with very few conditions. Occasionally we publish code using a version of the GPL license, adding additional terms. GPLv3 added provisions that make it easier if someone infringes the license terms; these provisions give the violator a chance to “cure” the situation. While licenses such as GPLv2, LGPLv2, and LGPLv2.1 do not have this cure provision in their text, we will still apply the GPLv3 cure to code infringements under those licenses.

Below we’ve included the formal text of the commitment, but for those of you who want it in plain terms: we’re committed to being fair and reasonable. We operate in good faith. We use licenses on our code thoughtfully and we do mean what we say when we license code under open source terms. That said, license compliance gets complicated. When developers violate GPL terms, either accidently with mistaken code inclusions, or deliberately without understanding the implications of GPL’s license terms, we will enable them to fix those violations. Use our code knowing that we’re here to work together with you.

Our Commitment

Before filing or continuing to prosecute any legal proceeding or claim (other than a Defensive Action) arising from termination of a Covered License, Yahoo commits to extend to the person or entity ("you") accused of violating the Covered License the following provisions regarding cure and reinstatement, taken from GPL version 3. As used here, the term 'this License' refers to the specific Covered License being enforced.

However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.

Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.

Yahoo intends this Commitment to be irrevocable, and binding and enforceable against Yahoo and assignees of or successors to Yahoo's copyrights.

Yahoo may modify this Commitment by publishing a new edition on this page or a successor location.


  • 'Covered License' means the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), the GNU Lesser General Public License, version 2.1 (LGPLv2.1), or the GNU Library General Public License, version 2 (LGPLv2), all as published by the Free Software Foundation.
  • 'Defensive Action' means a legal proceeding or claim that Yahoo brings against you in response to a prior proceeding or claim initiated by you or your affiliate.
  • 'Yahoo’ was previously called Oath Inc.