Talk:MIT License

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Notes[edit]

Suggest that someone creates a section explaining the freedoms and restrictions of this license, rather than just the quoted licence. Perhaps a comparison to GPL/LGPL/BSD.


I created this page based on the Open Source Initiative's definition of the MIT License. However, I now notice that the Free Software Foundation considers the name "MIT License" ambiguous. So, I'll update the page (soon) with that dispute in mind. -- Mattworld 00:15, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Aside: I now recall that I didn't create the page, but greatly improved upon it from a piece of source text. -- Mattworld 00:17, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I added a very short, simple intro sentence so the casual reader will know if this is an article they want to read. It may need a little fleshing out from more knowledgable writers (a mention of open source, perhaps) - but please, keep it short and easy, aimed at the non-technical reader. Those who already know what the license is and seek more details can skip the intro, but those who are clueless need some context. DavidWBrooks 14:12, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Anyone fancy adding a comparison with the GPL? It seems an obvious and important point of comparison, unless I'm missing something... Oolong 16:18, 19 May 2005 (BST)

Question about the BSD-MIT-comparison: does this text have to appear in binary distributions of the software. I'm asking because the BSD-license makes an extra clause for this situation. - 84.179.201.32 19:09, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

x.org reorg[edit]

http://wiki.x.org/Downloads_terms.html ( old site of X license ) doesn't show up anymore, but archive.org archive of http://www.x.org/Downloads_terms.html still does, and is different than the text of this license.

Could someone try starting a "variations" section?[edit]

I know XFree86 use a modified version of the MIT license, and since there are so many names for this license, I guess that others will also have modified it. This seems to be worth starting a section about. Gronky 16:00, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Someone seems to have done this. --80.166.179.23 (talk) 09:40, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Public Domain?[edit]

What's the difference between this license and public domain? --Zarel 15:08, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

It's an explicit copyright license (which removes any uncertainty about whether the work is in the public domain or not), it disclaims warranty (which you can't do with a public domain work -- although the case law that started the whole warranty disclaimer thing may not apply to public domain works), and it tells you that you can't claim that it's MIT's or BSD's work. RussNelson 15:08, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

GPL Compatible[edit]

"Specifically, it is a GPL-compatible permissive license, meaning that it permits reuse within proprietary software on the condition that the license is distributed with that software." - I'm pretty sure that's not what GPL compatible means. I will change this but someone please check. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ErikHaugen (talkcontribs) 22:58, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Read proprietary as restrictive to get a better understanding. For instance, GPL is restrictive (down near the bottom of the scale). MIT license permits reuse within GPL code - which is no different than within any other type of restrictive license Tedickey 23:14, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
It sounds like you're saying "proprietary software" here has been coopted to mean something other than it's actual meaning in order to make a point? It would be nice to spell that out in a "controversy" section or something rather than using confusing word choices, if I understand you correctly. "proprietary software" in that sentence is wikilinked to a page that doesn't really jive with calling GPL "proprietary." ErikHaugen 23:32, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
yes - rather than using a neutral presentation which would have used a comparison between permissive licenses (already linked) to restrictive licenses, it was phrased to offer the reader only the choice between "proprietary" and "GPL". The permissive license topic also lacks a neutral point of view, since it leads back in a circle... Tedickey 23:38, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

does this "infect" other proprietary licenses?[edit]

If i use a piece of MIT licensed code together with other code, does that code also has to become MIT licensed code? or it can stay closed-sourced? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.180.229.215 (talk) 14:23, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

No - it doesn't affect the other licenses. Tedickey (talk) 14:50, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I find this confusing because of the requirement to include the Copyright and the Permission notices "in all copies or substantial portions of the Software". It reads plainly on "this software and associated documentation files". It seems to me that if the MIT License is included within a collection that contains both some MIT Licensed code and some other code, then the License would read on the collection as a whole. I.e. "this software" without the caps, having its plain language meaning, would be taken to me "the software with which this license is included", wouldn't it? How does it not affect the other licenses? --Fbg00 (talk) 23:08, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't say that you have to include the notice in other files that happen to be collected together with it, nor does it restrict the collection of files that are used to compile and run a program. Tedickey (talk) 00:09, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Date of MIT license[edit]

The current wording dates from 1988 (unspecified day/month) and often is found in conjunction with a copyright notice for Digital Equipment Corporation. At the moment, the oldest sources for X online appear in ftp://ftp.x.org/pub/X10R3/X.V10R3.tar.gz for Febrary 2, 1986, worded as follows (same idea, different expression):

X.V10R3/X/mit-copyright.h

/*

Copyright 1985 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this
software and its documentation for any purpose and without
fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright
notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright
notice and this permission notice appear in supporting
documentation, and that the name of M.I.T. not be used in
advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the
software without specific, written prior permission.
M.I.T. makes no representations about the suitability of
this software for any purpose.  It is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.

This software is not subject to any license of the American
Telephone and Telegraph Company or of the Regents of the
University of California.

*/

Tedickey (talk) 13:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Recent edit to Scintilla (editing component) asserts that it does not use the MIT license. However, I noticed that this topic doesn't give a reliable source for the text. The text as in the X headers doesn't agree with the text shown on this topic. TEDickey (talk) 10:50, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

A current example is found in X.h:

Copyright 1987, 1998  The Open Group 
 
Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and sell this software and its 
documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that 
the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that 
copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting  
documentation. 
 
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 
OPEN GROUP 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. 
 
Except as contained in this notice, the name of The Open Group shall not be 
used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other dealings 
in this Software without prior written authorization from The Open Group.

Copyright 1987 by Digital Equipment Corporation, Maynard, Massachusetts. 
 
                        All Rights Reserved 
 
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its  
documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted,  
provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that 
both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in  
supporting documentation, and that the name of Digital not be 
used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the 
software without specific, written prior permission.   
 
DIGITAL DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING 
ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS, IN NO EVENT SHALL 
DIGITAL BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR 
ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, 
WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, 
ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS 
SOFTWARE. 

..noting that mention of "The Open Group" was the rewording from 1999, which replaced various attributions (mostly for X Consortium) TEDickey (talk) 10:54, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

History of the MIT license[edit]

Here's some first hand history, from my memory...

X was developed jointly between MIT Project Athena and MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. I was working on Project Athena (I was a Digital Equipment Corporation engineer at the time): and Bob Scheifler was at LCS. There was much interest in X, which was one of the first window systems (particularly portable window systems), and MIT had to decide what to do about it. Some of us (myself included) argued that by licensing X liberally, MIT would benefit more from applications than anything it could get in revenue from trying to license it, particularly since the terms of Project Athena was that Digital and IBM would have license to results of Athena.

Jerry Saltzer, then technical director of Project Athena, worked with the MIT lawyers to draft the license language, IIRC; I remember seeing a draft, reading it, and saying that this seemed to fit the bill to achieve everyone's ends. So MIT blessed it, and I remember a massive editing session to update the copyrights on the source code, which then went out in the X10R3, which I shepherded (along with all the releases through X11R1, roughly, though others helped loads...).

You can figure out when X11R3 shipped from modification dates in that original tarball, though it may have been updated slightly after its initial release for a security bug, if vague memory and some investigation serves me correctly.

I've got mail buried somewhere likely of much of this.

--JimGettys (talk) 21:58, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Copyleft: No[edit]

How is it No if redisributed copies must keep the license? -79.176.200.211 (talk) 11:11, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

If it could be construed as copyleft in any way whatsoever, RMS would be sure to have an essay on his website amplifying that aspect Tedickey (talk) 21:54, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It is Copyleft, Its not Strong Copyleft(as the FSF likes to call it) but you are free to do anything with the code, even when compared to GPL. 85.139.189.95 (talk) 18:04, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Do read the topic Copyleft. The first sentence makes a point that distinguishes it from MIT, i.e., there's no requirement that redistributed/modified copies require that the rights are preserved Tedickey (talk) 21:30, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

This clause seems to imply that the MIT license must accompany other software of which it is a part, unless only pieces of the software are taken which are not substantial portions. "The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 143.112.144.129 (talk) 00:31, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Most copyright notices require that the copyright be kept with copies. That says nothing about rights to modifications. TEDickey (talk) 00:40, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The MIT copyright notice must always be included be it in the original work or when it is included as a part of a modified work. This is not some kind of right that the receiver of an copy gets, but a requirement that the distributor must follow. The MIT license will also only cover the parts that is copied from the original work when used in a modified work. Copyleft on other hand deals with rights the recipients of the work gets, by adding requirements to the distributor which enforces that those rights are preserved. Those rights cover the hole work, and any modified version of that work.--Belorn (talk) 13:46, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Why is some of the license text in UPPERCASE?[edit]

Curious as to why the lower part of the license is in uppercase -- is this just an affectation or historical artifact, or does it have some legal significance?

Either way .. the reason should surely be part of the content of the Article?

quota (talk) 16:01, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

That's because the original notices used that style (since boldface, etc., aren't part of US-ASCII). I recall an additional explanation to the effect that legal warnings have to be emphasized in text TEDickey (talk) 16:04, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Yep, for details look at Implied warranty#Disclaimer of an implied warranty. Basically the US forbids hiding various disclaimers. Also source code, a common place to find the license, being universally unformatted text leaves capitalization is the only way to make a passage stand out. Awg1010 (talk) 02:23, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Ambiguity (sic)[edit]

Stallman's been commenting that "MIT License" is ambiguous longer than Expat has been around (linked topic says it's from 1998). Perhaps someone can find a reliable source to the origin of his comment, rather than periodic rephrasing TEDickey (talk) 14:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

For instance, the comment about Expat is missing from the oldest version for http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html on the wayback machine (2001). That leaves out 13 years or so of "ambiguity" TEDickey (talk) 14:33, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Software under dual licenses of GPL and MIT License?[edit]

I am quite confused that why software can be under dual licenses of GPL and MIT License. The point is, GPL demands a software, which contain GPL'd software parts, to be GPL'd where source code have to be open, while MIT License does not. Well, it seems okay for MIT License but it does not for GPL. Maybe my understanding is not right but is it really possible for them to be logically compatible?--133.87.181.33 (talk) 12:26, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I could make an atempet to explain the different concepts, but please be aware that talk pages should be used only for discussing on how to improve the article. When people talk about license compatibillity, they normally talk about combining code which is under different licenses. When distrubuting the combined work under one software, you need to follow both licenses and they need to be compatible. In practise this mean when distrubuting software with both GPL and MIT parts, you need to keep the copyright notice on the code with MIT license (the requirement from MIT), and also follow all requirements under GPL for the work as a whole. Now, this is not the same thing as dual license, as in that case all the code must be lincensed under both MIT and GPL. With dual licensing you can choose duing distrubution which license you want to use. This type of licensing is rare, but do happen when there is a strong disagreement between coders on what license the work should be under. Belorn (talk) 16:09, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

"the MIT" (sic)[edit]

As an abbreviation, the reader is not expecting "the MIT" because that is rarely used. Some editor may assume that the abbreviation is transformed in speech to "the Massachusetts Institute of Technology", but lacking a WP:RS, it is jarring. To note that MIT itself uses simply "MIT" and not "the MIT", one might view their website TEDickey (talk) 00:09, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

MIT-X11 versus MIT-expat[edit]

On investigation, it is not ncurses which "adds" the paragraph related to advertising, but rather (because expat adopted the MIT-style license years later), that expat either omitted the paragraph, or copied the text from some interim location which had omitted it. The text as used in ncurses was that used in X11R6.3 (July 1997), which is at least as old as April 1997. Expat's MIT-style license dates from October 2000. TEDickey (talk) 00:30, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

If you do think that the "often used" is doubtful and lacks sources, then delete the "often used", to make it neutral, why insist to keep it?--Tomchen1989 (talk) 13:01, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Can I remove the "often used" now? --Tomchen1989 (talk) 13:11, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
My disagreement was the use of a secondary source (OSI) to state that the X11 license is the same as Expat, as well as the way it's worded, making it sound as if Expat is the principal example of the license. The X11 license text is easy to find, and date. The topic should reflect the order in which things happened. TEDickey (talk) 13:15, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, here's a source which discusses the issue: http://invisible-island.net/ncurses/ncurses-license.html (but you may choose to disagree) TEDickey (talk) 13:19, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
The section's title is "Various versions", and it discusses the various versions, the Expat, the X11 and the XFree86 one by one. If the title is something like "History", then it'd better be chronological. Once we delete "often used", that sentence "the MIT License published on the official site of Open Source Initiative is the same as the Expat License" won't imply anything and won't necessarily mean which is used more than which. It's just telling people the simple fact. OSI's MIT License page is well cited and linked, people may want to know which version that is, rather than to argue with each other about which is more used. --Tomchen1989 (talk) 13:50, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
"Often used" isn't well-sourced (you appear to be agreeing with that). But the sentence begining "Compared to the Expat" license states something about order and relationships. ncurses didn't add anything. Expat removed something. Whether Expat was the first to do that, I don't know. TEDickey (talk) 14:06, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you misread that. We are talking about this, in the first paragraph of the section "Various versions", not the second paragraph beginning with "Compared to the Expat". The {{Dubious}} template in the second paragraph which disagrees with that "add", may be kept for now. But the first paragraph doesn't need one. --Tomchen1989 (talk) 14:14, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
"Often used" isn't well-sourced, so delete it, why keep it and add some template with it? --Tomchen1989 (talk) 14:18, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I thought it likely to be disputed, so I tagged it. TEDickey (talk) 14:24, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
This has been sitting tagged like this for nearly a year now? I'm going to Be Bold and sort this paragraph out now, as it seems clear there is no particular interest in hammering out a concensus on what to do with it.
-Joey- (talk) 11:58, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Copyright holders[edit]

I have got a question concerning the <copyright holders> part of the license: I have seen many software projects that have multiple contributors but only name the initial author as the copyright holder in the license file. Is this legal/intended by the license or should all contributors of significant modifications be listed as the copyright holders? --greip (talk) 13:38, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

All contributors of significant modification should be listed, through exceptions exist.
  • Some distribute the software as core package + patches. This model allows each patch file to have it own copyright holder.
  • Some software projects require copyright transfer when a contributor want to give code.
  • Some leaves the copyright notice of the inital author alone and use the Change log to keep track on who is copyright holder for what code. I am unsure if this has legal implications, but I doubt it in regards to the MIT license. *edit* I suspect this choice has some direct legal implication given MIT's requirement of attribution. Project who do not update the copyright notice leaves them self open for contradicting licensing.
Belorn (talk) 06:09, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
thanks! --greip (talk) 15:13, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Unbalanced "notable" list[edit]

Adding trivial examples to a list only detracts from the presentation. TEDickey (talk) 22:59, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree, this is a distraction. 193.71.42.4 (talk) 08:37, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

The issue appeared with edits by User:KenSharp, who appears to have a conflict of interest with Dropbear. For instance, the last external link on that topic points to a website which in turn is of interest to someone using the same name. The link was added by Special:Contributions/187.194.179.99, whose other contribution was seen to be nonconstructive. Dropbear in itself appears to be orders of magnitude less well-known than the other examples given (Category:Software_using_the_MIT_license lists 146 topics, while the notability of Dropbear is also questionable - there are only primary sources given) TEDickey (talk) 11:27, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Incidentally, the edits which added Wayland are also promotional, and have been lacking in WP:RS. So far, Wayland is much like Hurd (not the only example I could mention), more talked about than seen or used TEDickey (talk) 11:27, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I have reported User:Tedickey for spam. He removes any edits and thinks he has sole rights to edit this article. His disruptions are vast and aimless, except for his own ego. He has now resorted to making up stories about an affiliation that doesn't exist. Furthermore he is fooling users who have far too much access to Wikipedia to ban users he disagrees with. I know this because I have been given the correct process to follow and this was not done. I have added these details to his talk page but, obviously, he has removed them. As you can clearly see people who "agree" with this user are nothing more than anonymous IP addresses, i.e. sockpuppets.

This user needs to be dealt with immediately. KenSharp (talk) 20:17, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

How is 2-clause BSD "essentially identical" to MIT?[edit]

As argued in this Groklaw article, there are complicated issues for the BSD license related to re-licensing and to preventing the distribution of modified source code, even if obtained illegally. It's not obvious to me that the MIT license is "essentially identical" in these respects. Enoksrd (talk) 23:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

tag not related to statement[edit]

Previous editor apparently wished to draw attention to this essay on groklaw. It deals with a different topic than whether BSD 2-clause and MIT license are "essentially identical". TEDickey (talk) 01:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

"any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source" - Wikipedia:Verifiability.
Calling MIT and BSD as identical is clearly material challanged or likely to be challanged. Thus, the ciation needed is there as an request for sources or for the unsourced material to be deleted. The groklaw article do not mention MIT license except than quoting OSI, and the article claim that the OSI said in 2006 that "Note the new BSD license is thus equivalent to the MIT License, except for the no-endorsement final clause.", except that the author of the groklaw article disagree with it. at any rate, not a good enough source for the statement, so please get a better source. OSI home page seem to have removed the statement. Belorn (talk) 10:19, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
What does "tag not related to statement mean"? To be clear, as Belorn says, I was asking for a citation to the claim that BSD-2 and MIT are essentially identical. The Groklaw article I cited argued that they are not essentially identical. There is a lot of criticism of that Groklaw article in its comments, so it's not obvious the Groklaw article settles the issue in the negative. I'm not claiming the statement that the licenses are essentially identical is verifiably false; what I am claiming is that the statement is not obviosly and uncontentiously true, and so needs a citation.
Enoksrd (talk) 03:59, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
perhaps, but the groklaw comments aren't going to help in that endeavor TEDickey (talk) 09:20, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
 ???
Let me try to clarify again: 1) *I* added the "citation needed" tag to the wiki page claim that the MIT and BSD licenses are essentially identical; 2) *I* created the talk section above which references the Groklaw article in support of my claim that the unsourced wiki page claim is contentious and hence needs a citation; 3) *I* pointed out in my last comment that the conclusions of the Groklaw article (among them that the BSD and MIT licensea are *not* identical, i.e. the *negation* of the uncited claim in the wiki page) are contested in the comments of the Groklaw article, to make clear that I don't think the Groklaw article resolves anything conclusively.
I have no idea what "endeavor" the Groklaw comments are not going to help in ...
The endeavor I'm interested in is getting a source which justifies the claim that the MIT and BSD licenses are "essentially identical". I'm have not proposed any such source. Rather, I've given a (contentious) source which *contradicts* the claim.
Enoksrd (talk) 10:13, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
The author of the article makes no such comparison. There is an anonymous comment without analysis which you may be considering, that is not a reliable source TEDickey (talk) 12:37, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry about the slow reply, but I think the author of the article *does* make the comparison. I quote from the "rider" section at the end of the article:

Note the new BSD license is thus equivalent to the MIT License, except for the no-endorsement final clause. [Note: on the analysis in this paper they would not be equivalent]

The main text of that quote is from http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php, according to the author, but the remark in the brackets is from the author and asserts that his article implies the BSD and MIT licenses are not equivalent. Enoksrd (talk) 01:39, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Your comment was already addressed by Belorn TEDickey (talk) 08:07, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Relative importance of OGRE[edit]

Editor claims that OGRE is enormously important. Oddly, the topic is weakly sourced, and reading it, would make a good candidate for deletion because it lacks WP:RS supporting its notability. Someone who cares about that topic might find it helpful to repair it. TEDickey (talk) 21:54, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

vague reference to "entire code base"[edit]

recent edits introduce an extract from a few technical-sources without defining any terms. Overall, the newly added content is vague, easily interpreted in ways that the cited authors likely did not intend, not encyclopedic. TEDickey (talk) 20:28, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

patent discussion[edit]

The paragraph contains at least one sentence fragment, and is more than half editorializing. If fixed (rather than simply removed), the topic would be improved by making a new section with this content. As is, it is unrelated to comparison between licenses. TEDickey (talk) 09:41, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

promotion to lede of dubious content[edit]

As noted here, equating MIT (or X11) license with Expat is dubious at best. The existing topic was a compromise between the competing edits TEDickey (talk) 09:26, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

I was going off the FSF's page about licenses and the fact that the FSF refers to what the OSI calls the MIT license as the Expat license. Given the FSF's influence, I think it's a plausible alternative name. I don't feel particularly strongly about it though; feel free to remove it from the lede if you want. wctaiwan (talk) 17:25, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The source says "It is sometimes ambiguously referred to", which seems weak. The lede (to avoid clutter) should limit itself to the most common names. As Stallman said in another context, there are many MIT licenses, while this topic is limited to discussing just a few. TEDickey (talk) 23:19, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd argue that the MIT license, the Expat license and the X11 license are all common names, but as I don't feel strongly about this, I've gone and taken it back out. That said, I think it might be a good idea to summarize the first section in the lede, i.e. there isn't really a single, canonical MIT license, but rather several variations which may all be referred to by that name. wctaiwan (talk) 00:27, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
yes, that would work TEDickey (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Split to reduce ambiguity[edit]

It seems that having such an ambiguous article name has lead to a lot of confusion about what, exactly, is the topic of the article. Therefore, I am proposing that the article be split into MIT/X11 license for the license used on X11 and ncurses, and MIT/Expat license for the more liberal form used for Expat.

Alternatively, each could have a top-level (h2) section (including the full text somewhere), perhaps followed by another with the explicit purpose of comparing and contrasting the two. But either way, we should still create MIT/X11 license and MIT/Expat license, and associate them with Wikidata items X11 license (Q18526202) and Expat license (Q18526198), respectively. —SamB (talk) 22:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

If anybody's confused, then it's you. Visit http://www.x.org/ and then scroll down to the bottom. There is a license text linked. Now look for differences to http://expat.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/expat/expat/COPYING?view=markup
I see none except different line breaks.
If you were referring to Wayland's license, it's old license text was Historical Permission Notice and Disclaimer, not some imaginary different X11 license text. Yes, there is some HPND source code in X11 but that does not change the name of this license. --KAMiKAZOW (talk) 02:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I think he's referring to this passage in the article, which reflects a subtle difference that indeed seems to make a lot of people mix up the two:
Differing from the Expat License,[3] the X11 License[4] (...) [includes] the clause: "Except as contained in this notice, the name(s) of the above copyright holders shall not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other dealings in this Software without prior written authorization."
The fact that X.org now links to the opensource.org MIT license page (which, by the way, contributes to this confusion by using plain "MIT" as the license name) doesn't mean that the definition of "MIT/X11" has changed. In other words, X.org has clearly adopted the more common and more liberal Expat version, but this doesn't nullify the "MIT/X11" license's name (although it certainly confuses the situation).
At the very least, the passage from the article I quote above needs to be clarified. --Waldir talk 13:34, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not actually clear if X.org has "adopted" the Expat license, rather it is only apparent that someone found (as done pervasively in Wikipedia) that a web link was simpler than providing their own content. Most of the discussion of licenses in X.org has been along the lines of eliminating duplication and combining copyright owners on a single copy of the license. But little progress has been made (see example) TEDickey (talk) 21:14, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh, just to note where I was coming from when I proposed this: it'd be really nice to have a way to unambiguously wikilink to some text that unambiguously describes either of these two variants. —SamB (talk) 00:08, 7 July 2015 (UTC)