I am developing a .net core self-contained application for an embedded linux device. The software is part of the device image and won't be sold standalone nor it is downloadable in binary or source code form. As far as I know, .net core is licensed under MIT, but with all its dependencies to native libraries and nuget packages there are a lot of questions. However, not all of them are specific for .netcore:

  • Nuget packages usually include a LICENSE file. Does this license cover everything coming with that package (including other nuget references and third-party libraries)?

  • Nuget packages often contain a THIRD-PARTY-NOTICE file. Is this just for information or is this just another "license" file which must be considered?

  • As I only deliver binaries (everything produced via dotnet publish), is it enough if I have the license information for each file in the publish folder or do I have to include licenses of packages which don't result in a file in the publish folder? (Currently I have about 200 packages detected, but only 20 of them have a direct link to a file in the published folder).

Can anyone recommend a good website/book about the topic. It seems there are a lot of tools and information for programming languages like C where (typically) no package managers are involved and licenses are available in the sources.

  • Consider using MONO - an open source .NET application. Notice that your question is country specific (different regulations in the USA and in the EU) Commented Oct 25, 2023 at 5:50

1 Answer 1


LICENSE file contains license that apply to all the code in this one package.

THIRD-PARTY-NOTICES file contains a list of copyright owners, credits and licenses for the code that was used to make this package.

You need to provide all LICENSE and THIRD-PARTY-NOTICES files in your software.

Some packages use COPYING instead of LICENSE. Some add COPYRIGHT and AUTHORS files. Some packages are multi-licensed, and you need to include all copyright files.

There is a simpler way, like copying all licenses to one directory and adding a list of NuGet packages with the name of the license and all copyright notices.

You can also provide a zip file with the source code and license files for all NuGet packages.

You can check some software, like dotnet-project-licenses which may be useful.


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