MIT License says:

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

However, a few repositories do not have any copyright notice, while it is published under MIT license.

e.g. tapable says it is under MIT License in package.json. It does not have copyright notice or LICENSE file though.

I wonder how I can follow MIT License. Should I write new copyright notice for tapable by myself? Can I skip including copyright notice of tapable? Or can’t I use this much popular library legally?

EDIT: The tapable does have copyright notice in its source code actually. But, how about the resolve-pathname? This is also well-used as a dependee of the latest version of react-router.

2 Answers 2


While there may not be a top-level LICENSE for or similar, each JavaScript file in that repository both links to the "canonical" copy of the MIT License at opensource.org and contains a copyright line. Combined with the assertion in package.json, the intention of the author is more than clear; I would be more than happy to use the package, borrowing the copyright line from that stated in any of the JavaScript files.

The other obvious option is to submit a pull request which adds the license file; that would remove all ambiguity.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer. It's my fault that the tapable is too good example xd. How do you think if the package.json has "license": "MIT" but there is no LICENSE nor any copyright notice, such as resolve-pathname?
    – kdama
    Aug 6, 2018 at 9:11
  • @kdama My question has been marked as a duplicate, but has comments regarding this: opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/7238/… Aug 16, 2018 at 7:32

If you got the software with no discernible copyright notice, you got it in violation of the license. See if you can get it upstream, or contact the original author(s) to see how to fix the violation.

  • Not necessarily. If it's all original work, the author may publish it with the clearly-expressed intention that it be usable under the terms of the MIT licence, without including a copyright notice. I don't see that that invalidates the express intent of the author, it just means there's no initial copyright notice to preserve.
    – MadHatter
    Feb 15, 2020 at 7:11
  • @MadHatter, how would I (or somebody who got that stuff from me) know what the conditions are on that case? No copyright notice, a file stating MIT but none to attribute, would look very fishy.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 15, 2020 at 13:36

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