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Furidan

Using open-source projects inside another open-source project

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Good evening,

I am developing a graphical library that I am going to release as open source, and some part of it depends on SlimDX (MIT license) and some part depends on OpenTK (also MIT license).
The license that I like the most is ZLib one (since it is much easier to read and understand), but I don't know if I can use that license in a project that depends on the projects with MIT licenses.

The second point I don't quite understand is where and how should I mention the "MIT projects" in my code.
Should I copy/paste all three licenses into every source code file? Or maybe the licenses of all the projects that the given source file is refering to?

And the last point is, will it be mandatory for people who use my library to mention SlimDX's and OpenTK's license texts inside their own projects?

Thank you in advance for a reply. :)

P.S. I always thought that open-source licensing is an easy thing... :/

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Neither MIT nor ZLib are copyleft, so they are fully compatible.

All you have to do is include attribution and the licenses in your documentation. If you choose to release the source (and it sounds like you do), you should leave the copyright notices that already exist in the source in the form of comments in-tact. Just don't remove them- you don't need to add anything more.

What license will you be releasing your library as? There may be other considerations, depending on what license you plan to use.

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Thank you for explanation! :).
Yes, I plan to release the source code of my project under the ZLib license and I am only referencing SlimDX and OpenTK dlls, not their source code, so it seems that I don't have to copy/paste their attribution and licenses inside MY code. But doing so in the documentation and on the web page is a sure thing anyway.

The only thing left unclear is about what should I ask from users of my library license-wise in this case?
Something like "The project itself is licensed under ZLib, but if you use the Direct3D backend, you fall under the conditions of SlimDX's MIT license, and if you use OpenGL backend, you fall under the conditions of OpenTK's MIT license"?

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You're welcome. I'm glad to help.


The only thing left unclear is about what should I ask from users of my library license-wise in this case?
Something like "The project itself is licensed under ZLib, but if you use the Direct3D backend, you fall under the conditions of SlimDX's MIT license, and if you use OpenGL backend, you fall under the conditions of OpenTK's MIT license"?


Ah, actually that takes care of itself. If you list all three licenses together clearly, the MIT and ZLib make clear their requirements if the users wish to include those libraries.

You could mention something like that in the documentation to help make it clear to the users if you want to.

The bottom line, though, is that you only have to do specifically what the licenses tell you you have to do- you don't have to go out of your way to make sure that others who use this code will comply with the licenses. That is, you don't have to idiot proof it :wink:

I hope that helps,
Cheers!

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Ah, actually that takes care of itself. If you list all three licenses together clearly, the MIT and ZLib make clear their requirements if the users wish to include those libraries.


So that is how it works, hehe. smile.gif

Now I am actually thinking of releasing the whole project under MIT just to make users as little confused as possible, since they will most likely have to read MIT license text anyway.biggrin.gif

And thanks again for making my mind much more clear on this topic. smile.gif

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