I have downloaded code that is under the MIT license, and will modify parts of the code, as well as rename classes, namespaces and files, and I plan to relicense the code under one or all of the following licenses: LPL-1.0.2 (Lucent Public License version 1.0. 2) or MS-RL (Microsoft Reciprocal License) and possibly close the code and make it proprietary (a case to consider).
I would like to know if I have to leave the original author's copyright notice in each file of the code and make my modifications or if I can use a single LICENSE.md or LICENSE file with the original license with the name of the original author?
As for changing the names of classes, namespaces and files, could I change it, relaunch it on github/gitlab and then send it to nuget.org under a new name, new author and new license, without infringing the original author's copyright?

  • Note that if the code is not yours, you cannot relicense the module or parts of the code that are not yours without action/permission of the original copyright holder or author. However, if it's MIT licensed, then you can use it in a closed source project. See also: opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/4715/…
    – Brandin
    Aug 3, 2022 at 7:58
  • 1
    Sure one can. But the new license must follow the requirements of the MIT license, too. Not too difficult for MIT. (Proprietary distribution is also a change of the license.) Aug 3, 2022 at 8:47
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    Could you clarify your end goal here? By reading your question, it seems like you either want to try to change the license (by renaming classes, files, possibly by rewriting parts of the code, etc.), or you want to simply include MIT-licensed code (and possibly modify it as well) in your project, a project which has a different license.
    – Brandin
    Aug 4, 2022 at 6:22
  • Yes, i want change name of files, classes and namespaces, modifying some files to add features, compile and release this new package under new license like LGPL, MS-RL, BSD-3-CLAUSE or ZLIB in github and nuget.org!
    – stacktiago
    Aug 5, 2022 at 17:56
  • @stacktiago What's wrong with keeping the current code as it is (MIT), and just releasing your new additions under the license you want? There's generally no rule that says that all code in a package must be all under the same license. The licenses you mentioned seem like they're mostly compatible (except perhaps for MS-RL), but we need specifics to give you a specific answer about releasing code where different parts of the code are under different licenses.
    – Brandin
    Aug 26, 2022 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot do what you plan.

If there is a copyright notice in a file you will have to retain that. The MIT License states:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

You can, however, change the names of the project, the classes, namespaces and files, this is included in the permissions of the MIT License.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and ...

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