University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License

University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License
FSF approvedYes[1]
OSI approvedYes[2]
GPL compatibleYes[1]

The University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License, or UIUC license, is a permissive free software license, based on the MIT/X11 license and the 3-clause BSD license. By combining parts of these two licenses, it attempts to be clearer and more concise than either.[3]

The license is the result of efforts by a University of Illinois committee set up in 2001. The intention was to create a new license standard for both NCSA and the worldwide software community in general. It was formally certified as an open-source license during a March 28, 2002 board meeting of the Open Source Initiative.

Source code under the NCSA license can be incorporated into proprietary products without the reciprocity requirements that copyleft free software licenses raise. The license is compatible with all versions of the GNU General Public License.[1] Notable software using the license includes LLVM and Clang (version 8.0.1 or earlier[4]).


The following is a license template. On an actual license the sections within angle brackets (year, owner organization name, etc.) will be filled out.

Copyright (c) <YEAR> <OWNER ORGANIZATION NAME>. All rights reserved. Developed by: <NAME OF DEVELOPMENT GROUP> <NAME OF INSTITUTION> <URL FOR DEVELOPMENT GROUP/INSTITUTION> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal with the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions: * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimers. * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimers in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. * Neither the names of <NAME OF DEVELOPMENT GROUP>, <NAME OF INSTITUTION>, nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this Software without specific prior written permission. THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE CONTRIBUTORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS WITH THE SOFTWARE.

Comparison to other licenses[edit]

The University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License is template-based, like the MIT/X11 and BSD licenses.

The initial license grant is based on text from the MIT license; it clearly states that it applies to the software plus any associated documentation files, and is more specific about what rights are conveyed than the BSD license.

The three license clauses are almost identical to those found in the modified BSD license. It requires that redistributions reproduce the license, and prevents the names of contributors from being used to promote derived products without permission. Here it is more precise than the MIT license, which does not distinguish between redistributions in source code or object form.

The University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License inspired Lawrence Rosen of the Open Source Initiative to create the Academic Free License. The Academic Free License is more complex than the BSD, MIT and NCSA licenses, and covers additional areas such as patent and trademark law.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Stallman, Richard. "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  2. ^ "The University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License (NCSA)". Open Source Initiative. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "LICENSE.TXT". Retrieved 2019-09-24.

External links[edit]