[LLVMdev] Licensing requirements

Tor Gunnar Houeland houeland at pvv.org
Fri Jul 8 09:56:21 PDT 2011

David Given wrote:
 > Tor Gunnar Houeland wrote:
 > [...]
 > > Thanks, that looks quite short and clear, though it doesn't seem to be
 > > obvious (and I would not personally wish to rely on it).
 > Some random searching on t'interweb shows that people in general appear
 > to be undecided as to whether the MIT license requires attribution in
 > binaries.
 > Given that the process of compiling source code to binary can be
 > considered to be a mathematical transform, I think it's perfectly
 > reasonable to argue that the source and the binary are equivalent and
 > therefore the phrase 'all copies or substantial portions of the
 > software' applies to both.
 > Certainly, for my day job I write commercial software with MIT code
 > embedded in it, and our legal department have told us we must provide a
 > copy of the MIT license with our binaries.

Yeah, there certainly appears to be some confusion, with people writing 
and asking questions on forums and mailing lists and saying various things.

In any case it would be accurate to say that such binaries are covered 
by the MIT-style license, whether that requires inclusion of the notices 
alongside the binaries or not.

OSI, FSF and the Wikipedia page are pretty clear and say that it's 
roughly equivalent to BSD.

Mozilla explicitly lists MIT-style license notices as requiring 

I'm not a lawyer, but I think the license text itself is pretty clear 
too. You are granted permissions for "the Software", under conditions 
for "the Software". If you're distributing something that's not "the 
Software", then the license doesn't grant you permissions for that. (The 
precise consequence of copyright law if not following the license is of 
course not as clear or simple.)

   - Tor Gunnar

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