Any concerns about jQuery switching to only the MIT license?

scott.gonzalez's picture

We're looking to simplify the licensing of all jQuery projects and want to remove the dual licensing of MIT/GPLv2 and switch to just the MIT license (specifically the Expat license). Since MIT is compatible with GPL, it should not affect the inclusion in Drupal. However, it is my understanding that the main reason jQuery is dual licensed today is because of a request from Drupal. Ben Alman has had a similar experience, which is documented on his blog:

Since Drupal supposedly requested the dual licensing, I just wanted to open up a discussion about the licensing terms and find out if/why there would be any concerns with us switching to just MIT.



Probably OK

Crell's picture

Disclaimer: I am not in a position to make a ruling on this question, this is a personal opinion only.

When Drupal first adopted jQuery, the entirety of the Drupal repository was GPL, no exceptions. Although MIT is GPL compatible, we therefore asked jQuery to dual-license their code so that we could keep our licensing simple: If it comes from, it's GPL.

More recently, though, we've started including large swaths of Symfony, Doctine, and Twig code, which is mostly MIT licensed (although I think Doctrine may be LGPL, not certain off hand). So, we've come to terms with the the idea of shipping non-GPL dependencies. (One could also argue that we're allowed to relicense MIT code as GPL when we distribute it. There's subtlty there that I don't fully grok, not being a copyright attorney.)

So I suspect it would be a non-issue for jQuery to switch to MIT-only, as that puts it in the same boat as the Symfony code we're already including.

The one possible caveat of that is that jQuery is (of course) distributed to the browser, while PHP is not. For the true pedant (present!) that may be an important distinction, even though all of Drupal's custom jQuery-based Javascript is unequivocably GPL. I don't think that's an issue in practice, but as I said I don't have the authority anymore to actually say that. I'll double check with Dries, however.

New post

corbacho's picture

A new blog post about the recent licensing changes (from Dual MIT-GPL to only MIT) in all jQuery projects:

You are still free to take a jQuery Foundation project, make changes, and re-license it under the GPL if your situation makes that desirable. The Free Software Foundation site confirms that the MIT License is a “lax, permissive non-copyleft free software license, compatible with the GNU GPL.”