I have found a piece of software which I have grown so fond of that I wish to improve it.

However, since the software is an MIT licensed project I could fear that the change I would like might not be what the devs had in mind, so in order to protect the changes I make from being removed or stop working due to changes in the core files I would like to know what could be done?

Can I make a copy of the core files and "freeze" them by relicensing the MIT license to another type of license?

  • If the files are still under MIT then others could edit as well, so i'm basically asking if the MIT license could be converted to a more restrictive type of license in order to "protect" the core code from being edited.
    – NeoFox1972
    Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 1:27
  • 1
    @NeoFox1972 If you use your own repository (e.g. GitHub, or a local repository), then the way to "protect" is not through licensing but to make sure only you have write access to that repository (I'm 99.9% sure this is the default setting on public hosting platforms). Your protection only applies to your own copy though. Anyone else who has made her own copy in her own repository (and wants to make her own changes that may be different from yours) has a similar ability.
    – Brandin
    Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


No, you can not change the license of the code you received to prevent people from making changes that are incompatible with features you depend on.

However, you can keep your own repository of the code and refuse to merge changes into it that are incompatible with how you want the code to function. There is no obligation for the developers of the original code to take over your changes, but similarly there is no obligation for you to take over any changes in the original project or changes proposed by others.

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