I've written some python code that is using a module which is distributed under an MIT license. Three questions.

  1. Do I have to release my code as open source?
  2. Can I distribute my code commercially?
  3. If I cannot do any of the steps above, is there a license that will allow me to do that?
  • 4
    Did you read the MIT license? It's not very long, and is quite explanatory. – Erik Funkenbusch May 4 '17 at 23:54
  • use tldrlegal.com for short and easy explanation of licenses(although, if you want to do any commercial work, it's always a good idea to contact a lawyer). – MatthewRock May 4 '17 at 23:55
  1. No. MIT is not a viral license, like the GPL. Using GPL'd code requires you to release your code under GPL.

  2. Yes. MIT doesn't have any commercial restrictions.

  3. N/A.

You should read the license; it's really not that complicated. It basically says you can do whatever you wish with the code, so long as you include the text of the MIT license and any original copyright notices with the code so licensed. It also includes an "AS-IS" clause that says the author of the code is not at fault if use of the code causes any problems.

Further Reading
MIT License explained in Plain English

  • What I can't understand is "include copyright" and "include license" items. Do I own the copyright to the code that was written by me or someone else? Do I have to include MIT license in every source file, even if some code doesn't use MIT licensed code? – flashburn May 5 '17 at 0:09
  • 1
    You always hold the copyright to your own code, unless you have assigned it to someone else (perhaps through an employer agreement). See here for instructions on how to apply the license. – Robert Harvey May 5 '17 at 0:16

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