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MIT License: How is it "permissive" with the "Permission Notice" requirement?

FLEB
30
Something in my gut tells me this is an FAQ, but my furious Googling thus-far hasn't found the answer (Biggest problem? The terms I'm looking for are in the license itself. Search, and... get... 50 copies of the license. Great.)

I've heard it said that the MIT license is one of the most permissive licenses, and that it allows a person to put MIT-licensed code into proprietary works (with the proper attribution). However, I don't understand how the phrase...

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
...allows proprietary, restricted-use redistribution. It seems to me that this requirement makes the license viral, like the GPL, because works based, or using "copies or substantial portions of the Software" are rendered redistributable as well, because the permission notice says...

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
obtaining a copy of this software ... to deal in the Software without
restriction...
Is the license referring to a different part of itself as the operative "permission notice", or am I reading too much into what rights are granted when that notice is included?

For reference, the full license:

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.
Dec 17 '08 #1
1 2211
Nepomuk
3,112 Expert 2GB
I'm no legal expert, but as far as I can tell the licence says, you can do all of those things without having to pay the original software maker for it. So for example, I could sell you a version of PuTTY (which uses this licence), without having to give the original author any of the money.
As far as I can tell, it doesn't say anything about the source code but it does say something about modifying, so you probably don't have to provide the code, but people are allowed to disassemble the software.

Greetings,
Nepomuk
Dec 18 '08 #2

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