I'm currently working on some closed-source proprietary software that makes use of a library (SharpAVI) distributed with the MIT License. The SharpAVI source isn't being used directly anywhere in my project, only the unchanged .dll provided for download on the codeplex site linked above.

The .dll is referenced in one very small distinct project inside a much larger solution (consisting of a single wrapper class around the functionality provided by SharpAVI).

I'm particularly concerned about this wording:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Does the license need to be included in a file with my code, which is linked to the licensed code by .dll, and includes none of the original source? Would this make my wrapper code an MIT-licensed product (that would seem to go against the non-viral nature of the license)? If my wrapper needs to become licensed under the MIT License, wouldn't that propagate to any other code that references it as well?

How do I properly attribute the license information for a linked MIT-Licensed .dll without releasing my own code under the MIT License?

  • The MIT license doesn't say anything about requiring your own code to also be MIT licensed. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 21:53
  • @RobertHarvey That was my understanding. I'm having trouble seeing how I can explicitly attribute the license to the dll I'm using unambiguously, however. Nowhere in the license does it say what project it's referring to, so if I include it in a file along with my project as credit to that portion that I'm using, it looks a lot like I'm licensing my own code.
    – KChaloux
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 22:05
  • 3
    "Portions of this software are MIT licensed. [copyright/permission notice here]" Or, if you want to be more specific, "This software uses SharpAVI, which is MIT licensed [copy of license here]" Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 22:07
  • @RobertHarvey That's exactly what I was looking for - how to denote specifically what portions of the software the license applices to. Would you mind making that an answer?
    – KChaloux
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you need a "licenses.txt" file or similar in which you place suitable text, wording similar to suggested by Robert Harvey.

If you have a GUI you can have a Help->About menu item, which might have a nice display in which you can click a button "licenses" that in turn opens a window showing the licenses.txt file - or whatever other method you might like to use.

What you need to do is have a reasonable accessible means of showing the attribution (that you uses MIT licensed s/w).

If you have a printed or PDF user manual you might also place an attribution in some fairly obvious place: inside the front or back cover, for example. Again it only needs to be a sentence.

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