About MIT License and MIT X11 License

Published on 13 Jan 2013

Original Resource from: http://whatis.techtarget.com/

The MIT License (also known as the X11 license or MIT X license) is a software license that was originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  It is similar to the BSD license, which was first used for the Berkeley Source Distribution, a version of UNIX that was developed at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB). The main difference is that BSD-style licenses sometimes contain a clause prohibiting the use of the name of the copyright holder in promotions without permission. 

Both the MIT and BSD licenses are considered to be more liberal than the GNU Public License (GPL), which is by far the most frequently used free software license. The reason for this is that the GPL requires that;

  1. all software derived from GPL-licensed software must also be released under the GPL license; and
  2. all re-distributions of GPL-licensed software, including modified versions or software derived from GPL-licensed software, must make the full source code freely available.

According to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), the MIT license should be referred to as the X11 license, because MIT has released software under a number of other licenses as well. (X11 is the current version of the X Window System, the de facto standard graphical engine for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. It was developed at MIT.)

However, the Open Source Initiative refers to it as the MIT License, as do many other groups. It should be kept in mind that the FSF is the same organization that insists that Linux should be renamed GNU/Linux (because of the large amount of GNU software included in Linux distributions). A good compromise is to refer to it as the MIT X License.

The MIT License is not copyrighted, in contrast to the GPL, other developers are free to modify it to suit their own requirements. 

The basic template of the MIT License is as follows:

Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>

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.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

* Disclaimer: The above material is presented for reference purposes only,


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