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Assume that I use a template repository on GitHub (e.g., https://github.com/actions/typescript-action), make a tool, and publish it on GitHub under MIT license.

However, obviously I need to show the original statement of the template repository in addition to mine. How do I write the license description for this repository? Can I write both them down in one file like this?

// ./LICENSE

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 My name

...

---

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 2018 GitHub, Inc. and contributors

...

or keep only my statement in the LICENSE file and move the original statement somewhere else?

// ./LICENSE

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 My name

...
// ./license/original.md

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 2018 GitHub, Inc. and contributors

...

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If you fully incorporate third-party code in your project, which is the case if that third-party code is a template you base your project on, then the license and copyright notices of the third-party code should be right next to your own license and copyright notice. This means that both should be in the same file, like in your first option.

If you use the same license for your project as the license of the template, then you only need to have a single copy of that license text, resulting in

// ./LICENSE

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2020 My name
Copyright (c) 2020 2018 GitHub, Inc. and contributors

...

On the other hand, if you want to make it clear that GitHub and contributors only contributed a template and add a paragraph with that message between the copyright lines, then it is clearer to readers which license applies if you duplicate the MIT license text. It is short enough anyway.

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  • Thank you! I will go with your suggestion. But then if someone uses my code the copyright statement further gets longer, and when another one uses it one more line... right?
    – kemakino
    Oct 11 '20 at 14:53

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