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I’ve found a nice HTML email template that I would like to customize and use to send automated emails to my clients. The template is MIT licensed, which means I should provide a copy of the license (or a link to the license) on all copies of the software that I distribute.

However: email HTML is often preprocessed by email clients (like Gmail) such that much of the original code is modified. For example, most email clients remove html comments and even parts of the code that are not visible.

I would like to use the HTML templates for my emails without putting something like “This email was created using library X, licensed under the MIT license that you can find at Y” at the bottom (I want to keep the email short and clean).

Would that be allowed? How can I include a MIT license “under the hood” in this situation, where the final code is preprocessed by email clients?

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I think you're probably in the clear to use HTML comments. Just because a client may process it later doesn't mean you're not compliant, and every client should let users view the original email source if they want to. You'll just have to ensure that whatever system you use to send the emails doesn't strip your license notice out.

  • Do you have a reference by any chance? I am looking for a bit of certainty here since I really want to adhere to the MIT license. – Jean-Paul Sep 18 at 8:02
  • It's just the terms of the license. You include it in all copies you distribute. If someone uses a client that modifies the copy they receive, that's on them. – curiousdannii Sep 18 at 8:03
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I am not sure if this would help very much, so sorry if this doesn't :/

as you can see here:

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

This means you would have to;

  1. Add a link to the original software & license
  2. Re-create the software
  3. Get in contact with the author(s) and request permission without adding credit.

Hopefully this helps!

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