I am developing a project that uses the Electron framework which is released under the MIT license, but my question is not necessarily restricted to this one case: If an open source project comes with a license file, it is my understanding that I have to include this license file as well under most open source licenses (MIT, BSD, LGPL etc.). However, is there any strict requirement to have this file in a specific folder? Or can I just create a generic folder "Licenses" with my application and put the licenses for all open source projects I use there?

closed as off-topic by amon, Jörg W Mittag, World Engineer Jun 4 '17 at 3:32

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  • "Questions asking for legal advice or aid are off-topic here. You may be able to get help with understanding, applying, and complying with free and open licenses on Open Source. You may be able to get help with legal terms, concepts, language, and procedures on Law." – amon, Jörg W Mittag, World Engineer
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  • 1
    Most open source-type licenses require you to reproduce them, which is to say to reproduce the license content including copyright & author, and their binding legalities, but they don't specify the form of the reproduction in terms of any file or folder requirements. IANAL. – Erik Eidt Jun 3 '17 at 17:23
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    No. If you put a GPL license and a BSD license in the same folder they'll keep fighting until one of them kills the other. Or is that Siamese fighting fish? I always get those confused. – Jules Jun 4 '17 at 14:39

All the usual disclaimers apply, but as long as you don't deliberately obfuscate or hide the licenses you should be in the clear.

According to my experience the most common practice is putting all licenses together in a single file but several files in a first-level directory named "licenses" looks as fine.

This is assuming the license itself doesn't have any explicit requirements about it, but I can't think of any which does. The GPL have some requirements about displaying the license in interactive programs but that's a different matter.

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