This sounds like a corner case for including copyright notices when distributing copies of a software under MIT and other permissive licenses. In fact, deploying a smart contract on the blockchain means basically distributing the binary form which will be then executed by anonymous computers called miners. My smart contract can include portions of bytecode coming from opensource projects. A notable example is the MIT licensed OpenZeppelin framework. So my question is: here we have a distribution of binary which will be run by people which is anonymous and, given the Ethereum protocol, there is no way to show them the copyright notices other than putting these in a github repository. Would this be compliant with the license?

  • 4
    "there is no way to show them the copyright notice" - The MIT license does not require you 'show' anyone the notice. It says only that you must include the copyright notice and permission notice when you distribute the software. If you deploy MIT-licensed software to the blockchain, why not just deploy the notice as well as a text file? It is short enough.
    – Brandin
    Jan 15 '19 at 15:56
  • @Brandin, not that short. Encoding text into a transaction costs some gas/money. A good suggestion though.
    – Davide C
    Jan 16 '19 at 17:05
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    @DavidC It is less than one kilobyte. If you cannot include a notice, the only other alternative is not to redistribute software whose license requires you to include a notice.
    – Brandin
    Jan 16 '19 at 18:03

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