so I want to use the code in GitHub to help with my project, I don't sell the code or others I only need the output for my project. in the readme file, the project is built upon A, and B (other GitHub projects). I look in the MIT license of the GitHub project. and what it says is that this project (the one I want to use) is free to use the same with project A also free to use, but project B has Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. so can I use it because the current project allows me or...

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    You have to adhere to all licenses... Just because your buddy allows you to take a sip from his or her beer, doesn't mean you can do the same with all the beers in the bar on grounds that your buddy gave you permission. Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 14:45
  • okay thank you for the answer, but I think the terminology would be like my friend make his own beer but to perfect the taste he mixes his beer with 2 other beer brands. about 80 percent of his beer and 20 percent of brand A's and B's beer. my friend and brand A's give permission but brand B's uses and share only
    – kiyandark
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 6:18

1 Answer 1


You have found code on GitHub which you wish to run, and use the output as part of a commercial endeavour. The code is under a mixture of licences, including MIT and CC BY-NC-4.0. You want to know if you have a licensing issue.

FAOD, you cannot use this code as part of your commercial project. It seems very likely to me that the GitHub codebase is, in copyright terms, a s1a adaptation of the BY-NC-4.0 code, and s2a1b forbids the use of such when "primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation" (s1i).

However, you can likely use the output of this program as part of your project. It is generally understood that the licence under which you received a piece of code does not extend to covering its output; the output is instead generally a derivative work of, and thus covered by any licence on, the inputs. So provided the inputs were all your own work, then unless this program does something like copying part of its own code to its output stream, you can use the output as part of your commercial endeavour.

That said, IANAL/IANYL, so you should seek professional legal advice before you bet a company on the issue.

  • thank you very much for the information it's very informative. can I ask further about the output? what if the output is an image and the image is from our client. I and my friend sometimes work on video editing as a freelance/hobby and we think the output of this project github.com/vt-vl-lab/3d-photo-inpainting can make a beautiful addition to the edited video/image we work on. sorry to trouble you, it's kind of confusing me and my friend this is the first time we face this issue. thank you for reading.
    – kiyandark
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 11:29
  • @kiyandark if the output is an image, how can that image be from your client? Do you mean "the input is an image from our client, which is processed by the code to create an output image"? If so, on what terms was this input image provided to you?
    – MadHatter
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 11:33
  • sorry I mistyped it I mean I want to use the output image from the code and the input are images from our client
    – kiyandark
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 11:54
  • Yes. On what basis is that input image shared with you? Do you have any general rights to use it, or is it being given to you solely to do contracted work on?
    – MadHatter
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 11:58
  • yes I have general rights to use it
    – kiyandark
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 12:39

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