Licenses with later-version clauses
See also the discussion of only vs. or-later grants here.
- GNU family of licenses = Affero, Lesser, Free Documentation, General. Uses the same substantive language (with variations only in subject, e.g., Document, Library, Program, etc.).
- GNU 3.0+ family of licenses = AGPL-3.0, GPL-3.0, LGPL-3.0
- EPL family = EPL-1.0, CPL-1.0, IPL-1.0
- NPL family = Nokia, NOSL, NPL-1.0, Motosoto, MPL-1.0, MPL-1.1, RSCPL, SISSL-1.2, SNIA
- CDDL family = CDDL-1.0, CDDL-1.1
- Watcom family = PHP-3.01, Watcom-1.0, Zend-2.0
Table of license text
|License Family||Relevant Text||Allows only||Allows or later||Default||Notes|
|GNU family|| The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.
Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies a version number of the license which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of the license, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.
|y||y||or later||if no version specified, then any version ever published (=GPL-1.0+)|
|GNU 3.0+ family||If the Program specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of the GNU General Public License can be used, that proxy's public statement of acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for the Program.||y||y||unclear||The AGPL-3.0 phrasing uses “Affero General” instead of “General”. The LGPL-3.0 phrasing uses “the Library [as you received it]” instead of “the Program”, “shall apply” instead of “can be used”, some shuffled authorization wording, and “Lesser General” instead of “General”.
This approach is similar to the CC's nominating themselves as a proxy for their ShareAlike licenses
|EPL family||The Program (including Contributions) may always be distributed subject to the version of the Agreement under which it was received. In addition, after a new version of the Agreement is published, Contributor may elect to distribute the Program (including its Contributions) under the new version. Except as expressly stated in Sections 2(a) and 2(b) above, Recipient receives no rights or licenses to the intellectual property of any Contributor under this Agreement, whether expressly, by implication, estoppel or otherwise. All rights in the Program not expressly granted under this Agreement are reserved.||n||y||or later|
|NPL family||Effect of New Versions. Once Covered Code has been published under a particular version of the License, You may always continue to use it under the terms of that version. You may also choose to use such Covered Code under the terms of any subsequent version of the License published by Netscape. No one other than Netscape has the right to modify the terms applicable to Covered Code created under this License.||n||y||or later||The SISSL-1.2 phrasing uses “Original” instead of “Covered” and lacks “created under this License”. The Motosoto phrasing uses “Licensed Product” instead of “Covered Code”. The RSCPL phrasing uses “Governed” instead of “Covered”.|
|CDDL family|| 4.2. Effect of New Versions.
You may always continue to use, distribute or otherwise make the Covered Software available under the terms of the version of the License under which You originally received the Covered Software. If the Initial Developer includes a notice in the Original Software prohibiting it from being distributed or otherwise made available under any subsequent version of the License, You must distribute and make the Covered Software available under the terms of the version of the License under which You originally received the Covered Software. Otherwise, You may also choose to use, distribute or otherwise make the Covered Software available under the terms of any subsequent version of the License published by the license steward.
|y||y||or later||only the Initial Developer may choose "only"|
|Watcom family||Sybase may publish revised and/or new versions of this License from time to time. Each version will be given a distinguishing version number. Once Original Code has been published under a particular version of this License, You may continue to use it under the terms of that version. You may also choose to use such Original Code under the terms of any subsequent version of this License published by Sybase. No one other than Sybase has the right to modify the terms applicable to Covered Code created under this License.||n||y||or later||The PHP-3.01 and Zend-2.0 phrasing uses “covered code” instead of “Original code” and “the license” instead of “this License”.|
|APL-1.0||EFFECT OF NEW VERSIONS. Once the Licensed Work or any portion thereof has been published by Initial Contributor under a particular version of the License, Recipient may choose to continue to use it under the terms of that version. However, if a Recipient chooses to use the Licensed Work under the terms of any subsequent version of the License published by the Initial Contributor, then from the date of making this choice, the Recipient must comply with the terms of that subsequent version with respect to all further reproduction, preparation of derivative works, public display of, public performance of, distribution and sublicensing by the Recipient in connection with the Licensed Work. No one other than the Initial Contributor has the right to modify the terms applicable to the Licensed Work.||y||y||or later||Only the Initial Contributor may publish revised/new versions. If the Recipient chooses to use a subsequent version, they can't go back to the terms of a previous version.|
|MPL-2.0||Effect of New Versions. You may distribute the Covered Software under the terms of the version of the License under which You originally received the Covered Software, or under the terms of any subsequent version published by the license steward.||n||y||or later|
|CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-NC-SA families (since 2.0)|| Section 3 – License Conditions.
Your exercise of the Licensed Rights is expressly made subject to the following conditions.
1. In addition to the conditions in Section 3(a), if You Share Adapted Material You produce, the following conditions also apply. The Adapter’s License You apply must be a Creative Commons license with the same License Elements, this version or later, or a BY-NC-SA Compatible License.
|n||y||or later|| Relevant text taken from CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0, but similar in all CC licenses with SA, from 2.0 onward.
Compatible licenses are determined by the CC and listed here. So it's closer to “or anything the CC decides is compatible”, which is broader than “or later versions of this license”.