I used a open source software to build an application about few months back. The license on the software states,

"XXXYYY is Free Software, licensed under the MIT license - so it's free to use for all purposes."

MIT license says that - http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software."

All this happened few months back.

I visited the software's site now and it says that the software has been updated & is under Creative Commons license and that I need to pay a price to use it in my application.


My application still uses the older version of the software with the MIT license. What should I do? Should I license the software?

I agree that I must pay the developer who created the software, but the only reason I chose this software over other alternatives was that it is totally open source & customizable + free.

  • The Creative Commons licenses are mostly “open” licenses as well, although it is both very unusual to use CC for software and to charge for CC-licensed works, as anyone who obtains a copy can give it to you for free. However, there are important differences between the many CC licenses. I'm curious why someone would switch to a CC license in this case. Could you perhaps link to the software in question?
    – amon
    Dec 5, 2014 at 21:14
  • Thanks for the reply, The software is r-graph rgraph.net It was earlier MIT licensed, and I chose it over other charting libraries because of the license. I honestly would pay for the software for single user(me) since it is very good and a lot of work has been done. But I cannot go back to the user asking them to pay for commercial version. 499 pounds is a little too much for me. Dec 5, 2014 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


So long as you keep using the version of the software which was released under the MIT licence, you don't need to do anything: nobody, not even the copyright holder can revoke the licence you received.

Of course, if you want to update to the newer CC-licenced version of the software, you would have to comply with whatever terms that version of the software was released under - or in your case, pay the licencing fee.


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