124

Releasing a project under the MIT license is giving people permission to fork the project. Part of the philosophy behind free software is to give users and developers the right to use, modify, and release the software in ways that wouldn't normally be allowed. If you don't want people to do this, then don't use the MIT license. You can't really complain when ...


77

Was Xamarin's action and the way the action was done ethical or not? Well, let's ask an expert - The Open Source Initiative's listing of the MIT License itself, with the license quoted in its entirety: The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and ...


67

Yes, this is covered by the MIT license and you should contact the author of the derivative work to correct the copyright notice. More precisely, with MIT license, you allow everyone: to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, So, someone can modify and enhance your original software. In this ...


33

Many open source applications have closed source licensing options for just this scenario. How much you charge them is dependent on: the size of the company (how much can they afford) what they're going to do with it (if they're stealing it or just using it) what they expect you to do (support/updates/extensions? what contractual level?) a ton of other ...


26

The fourth paragraph says that the copyright notice in the second paragraph must be reproduced. Users of the licence substitute the [fullname] with their actual name. That is what constitutes "proper attribution" in the mind of the MIT: every user of the software can find out who wrote it if they want to.


25

From the GPL FAQ (but the advice is applicable to all licenses): Why does the GPL require including a copy of the GPL with every copy of the program? Including a copy of the license with the work is vital so that everyone who gets a copy of the program can know what his rights are. It might be tempting to include a URL that refers to the license, instead of ...


21

IANAL but I have discussed this and many similar issues with lawyers enough to have a good idea of what I am talking about here. This is not legal advice. The best background reading is Larry Rosen's book in the context of open source software. Rights, Licenses, Copyright and Sublicenses Under copyright law a copyright holder is granted certain exclusive ...


21

I used to be an IP lawyer, so have experience with license-ese. I feel like the terms themselves are fairly readable and understandable, but then again, I'm marred by three years of law school and some lawyering time before getting my wits again and returning to hacking. Particularly since I'm not currently an active lawyer, this certainly isn't intended as ...


21

Not quite. Here's the basic idea. As you pointed out, "you can incorporate the software into your proprietary project, but that portion must remain open" under the MIT license. If you have 100 features in your proprietary product, and one of them is based on MIT-licensed code, that's fine. However, if you have 100 features in your product, and one of them ...


21

I wouldn't call it unethical. I would call it unsportsmanlike. There's an unwritten expectation that you will give a good faith effort to improve the original version before deciding to fork, and it seems the original author feels that good faith effort wasn't made. That being said, the best way to avoid your software being forked is to be responsive to ...


18

The GPL is considered viral because, if you combine software that is licensed under it with proprietary code, you must also open-source your proprietary code under the GPL in order to remain compliant with the GPL. The MIT license doesn't say that at all. I think you might be interpreting the term "The Software" to include your proprietary portion. It ...


15

There is not copyleft provision in the MIT license. The MIT license gives you legal permission to use the code without ever distributing any of your source code. Since your project is closed source, very few people will ever see your code, but it is still a good idea to carefully document which portions are owned by someone else. For distributing binaries, ...


14

If you published code once under GPL, that version of your code is GPL code, that is nothing you can change again. Someone else (in fact, thousands of people) could have made a copy, that copy is under GPL, the GPL text is part of the code, and you cannot enforce anybody to change his copies "just because you wish to". However, if you create and publish a ...


12

Nothing to add to the explanations in the answers already given, but here are instructions for how to shape your source file headers (source): 2.2 Adding GPL’d modifications to permissive-licensed files A more complicated case occurs when a developer makes copyrightable changes to a permissive-licensed file that the developer is incorporating into a ...


12

There's a pretty good answer on Stack Overflow: https://web.archive.org/web/20150901065118/https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1424307/how-does-ms-pl-license-work There's also a decent article on CMS Wire: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-development/taking-a-closer-look-at-microsofts-mspl-open-source-license-004248.php The short version of those is ...


12

Was Xamarin's action and the way the action was done ethical or not? A lot of people are conflating the legal and ethical situation. The X11 license allows anyone 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", so this is ...


11

As a potential employer, this would set off a lot of red flags for me. Proprietary frameworks are typically significantly less used, documented and tested than their competition. More eyes = more bugs found/fixed, more documentation written, etc. It shows you oppose standardization in your community. What's wrong with the existing frameworks? You are ...


11

What Xamarin did is legal and ethical... almost. Let's have a look at the commit fixup of the license and misc typo fixes in the readme: LicenseAndCredit.txt (diff) -Copyright (c) 2010-2012 cocos2d-x.org - -Copyright (c) 2008-2010 Ricardo Quesada -Copyright (c) 2011 Zynga Inc. -Copyright (c) 2011-2012 openxlive.com -Copyright (c) 2012 Totally ...


11

You're not obliged to provide your whole software under MIT. The MIT license is a non-infectious license. If you include MIT licensed software in your software, it will not extend onto your software (unlike GPL). Only those parts of the software which were MIT before, and modifications made to those parts, are to stay under MIT license, nothing else. ...


10

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 ...


10

You designed your library to depend only on the LGPL version of LibRaw. That way you are following the license conditions of LibRaw. When the end-user links it against a version of that library which contains GPL code, that's their own business, not yours. You can not prevent your end-users from doing this. And doing that is not even illegal for them: The (...


10

If you take a look at Mono on GitHub, specifically the CONTRIBUTING.md file prior to its update after Microsoft bought Xamarin (and thus Mono), it states: The runtime (mono/...) is a special case. The code is dual-licensed by Xamarin under both the GNU LGPL v2 license and is also available under commercial terms. For the runtime, you should either sign an ...


8

AFAIK, the typical GPL variants apply only to your work "as a whole", and the MIT license is "compatible" with GPL. That means, if parts of your program are under MIT license, that is fine, as long as you do obey to the terms of the MIT license for that part (which is what you have in mind). And the only requirement that license states is ... "The above ...


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