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If yes, what precautions should I take?

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could u name those plugins? If u are using the plugins without license, for commercial use, that would be a lawsuit problem –  CyprUS Aug 24 '11 at 11:01
    
jquery datepicker. –  Harry Joy Aug 24 '11 at 11:03
    
I dont see it as a commercial plugin. here is the link 'jqueryui.com/about';. they see it is available under GPL, so i guess you can use it –  CyprUS Aug 24 '11 at 11:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 19 down vote accepted

With an MIT/X11-licensed product:

  • you CAN:
    • re-use the code freely for your own use,
    • re-use the code freely for non-commercial AND commercial re-distribution, whether in source or binary form.
  • you CANNOT:
    • claim authorship of the software,
    • thus you cannot attack the original author for using or publishing his original version.

So, yes, you CAN use MIT/X11-licensed plug-ins in your commercial application.

MIT/X11 is basically a simple contract that says:

  • Person or company X created Y.
  • Y belongs to X, but X is granting you the right to use it and do whatever you want with it.
  • X cannot be held accountable for anything that goes downhill with what you do with Y.
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The full text of the MIT License can be found here.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like you can

deal in the Software without restriction

even so far as

distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software

provided that

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, but you might fulfill that condition via comments in all pages or scripts that use the MIT licensed plugin or an Acknowledgments page.

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Every opensource licence to date (MIT too, a BSD-spirited licence) allows you to use the software on a commercial web site (and that's part of the reasons for the extreme OSS propagation in latter years) with some notable exception. Those exceptions are:

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2  
I don't think we can describe MIT/X11 as BSD-spirited: it's even less restrictive than BSD. They did appear at the same time and are both fairly permissive, though. –  haylem Aug 24 '11 at 18:05
    
Might be worth mentioning that the point of the AGPL is to fix this particular loop-hole that allows the use of GPL-ed code in a closed-source service provider setting; which is exactly against what the GPL intended: being viral and forcing you to disclose your source if you use GPL code. (might be a bit off on that, never been quite on top of GPL-intricacies). –  haylem Aug 24 '11 at 18:12

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