Licenses are now displayed in the repository overview, allowing anyone to easily see if a project has an open source license. This change is immediately available on GitHub, and will also ship with the upcoming Enterprise 2.8 release.

A shortened license name, linking to the repository’s license file, is displayed on the repository page:


We use an open source Ruby gem called Licensee to compare the repository’s LICENSE file to a short list of known licenses. This is the same code we use to provide the Licenses API and understand how repositories on GitHub are licensed.

We don’t detect every open source license, nor complicated situations such as projects with multiple licenses. For those situations you can still find and read the project’s license(s) as before.

Open source is a fundamental part of GitHub’s community. Adding an open source license to your repository ensures that others can use, copy, modify, and contribute back to your project. It’s an important step when creating an open source project. If your repository doesn’t have an open source license and you want others to get involved, consider adding one now.