Choose an Open-Source Code License

By Jack Dougherty, last updated March 25, 2017

Whether you create a new code repository on GitHub, or fork a copy of someone else's code, you should understand the basic concepts of a software license. Developers have the option to add a LICENSE file to their GitHub repo, which explains what other people can (or cannot) do with their code.

On GitHub, free repos are publicly viewable and forkable by other users, so the platform encourages the use of open-source licenses. One example that is commonly used for code templates linked to this book is the MIT License: it allows anyone to copy, modify, and redistribute the code, as long as they credit the author(s) and do not hold them liable. Learn more about different types of open-source code licenses at

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Licensing a Repository, GitHub Help page,

Data Visualization For All is copyrighted by Jack Dougherty and contributors and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may freely share and modify this content for non-commercial purposes, with a source credit to
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