I am creating an open source project and I want to use an MIT license for that. I have found this page: http://choosealicense.com/licenses/mit/

What should I write under "full name"? Should the group of people, that I am working with be registered as a company? If I am the head developer, and other people are freelancers that I have hired, can I (or should I) just write my own name instead of the company's name?

Under the "year" should I write basically the current year, the years when this project is available as open source or the year this product was released?

1 Answer 1


All these details are part of the copyright statement, i.e.

Copyright (c) [year] [fullname]

As such, they should be filled in with the details of the copyright that applies to the licensed work.

[year] is the year copyright was applied. If you apply the copyright (which happens automatically when you write the work) in 2015, put in 2015. Some people like to put in a range of years (i.e. 2015-2020) - this isn't necessary.

[fullname] is the full name of the entity that owns the copyright. If the owning entity is a private individual, put their name in:

Copyright (c) 2015, jackson

If it's a company (and although you may write the code, if you write it for a company, your employment contract probably contains a copyright assignment clause), put in the name of the company:

Copyright (c) 2015, Stack Exchange, Inc.

Additionally, if you're using choosealicense, each license page has a section called How to apply this license. You can find it on the top of the right-hand column of the page.

  • If I want to put my own name, should I register it somewhere (that this project belongs to me)? Because anyone can call themselves the name I will provide. And what if I will write the nick name? Is it going to be wrong? Why?
    – jackson
    Aug 8, 2015 at 21:48
  • @jackson Never put a nickname on a project's copyright statement; I've only done that above for illustration. Use your real name. You don't need to register ownership anywhere.
    – ArtOfCode
    Aug 8, 2015 at 21:49
  • 1
    But I am sure that there are people that have the same name and surname as I do. What if they will try to "steal" this project?
    – jackson
    Aug 8, 2015 at 22:00
  • 2
    Consider: every book ever published has someone's ordinary name on the copyright page. Software lives in the same legal universe.
    – bmargulies
    Aug 8, 2015 at 22:06
  • 4
    @bmargulies That's incorrect. Many books are published under a pen name. That does not mean that the copyright can not be enforced.
    – Philipp
    Aug 10, 2015 at 8:31

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