It's about an app that was created in a student project (in Germany) and will be soon released in the Google Play Store and also published on GitHub as OSS under the MIT license. The app features illustrations that some of the students created themselves.

We are now unsure about the legal situation with these illustrations: using just the MIT license, is it allowed to use/modify/distribute only the illustrations of the OSS without touching the program code at all? Is it possible or necessary to add additional copyright notes to them, in the app itself or somewhere inside the GitHub project (e.g. Creative Commons with author attribution) or are they automatically under the MIT license as well?

Thank you in advance if anyone is familiar with this topic :-)

1 Answer 1


If you only mention the MIT license in your GitHub repository, then the default assumption will be that everything in that repository is licensed under the MIT license.

The MIT license allows the artwork to be re-used completely independently of the program code.

As it is very unlikely that the program code and the artwork are derived works of each other, it is entirely possible to give them different licensing terms. You just have to make it very clear which license applies to which portion of the repository.

You can, for example, write your LICENSE file like this

The application and the artwork in this repository are provided under different licenses. The artwork, which is all located in the folder /artwork, is under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) license.

The application code and associated documentation is under the MIT license.

<Insert copy of MIT license text here>

<Insert copy of CC BY 4.0 license text here>

  • Thank you for the clarification, that helped a lot :-) Mar 8, 2021 at 11:51
  • @RauschkugelxD, the way to indicate that an answer has helped you, or which answer helped you the most, is to select the tick-mark next to that answer. Mar 8, 2021 at 12:12

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