Am I allowed to use modified version in my class?


hi there

quick licensing question. I wanted to use some of your lecture notebooks in a slightly modified form. I added a couple of things, but mainly I reformatted them so I can show them better as slides. then I stumbled upon the license on the landing page:

it says: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

There is a post saying “lecture source code is open”: what’s the license on the github repository that holds the lectures source code?

any clarification on this would be very welcome.


Hi @floswald,

This is something that we’ve been wrestling with.

What you suggest does not bother us in any way and is completely understandable. We certainly wouldn’t take any action to prevent you.

At the same time, we’re reluctant to remove the licence or make it more permissive. The way I think about it is as follows: I’m happy to open source the code I produce but I wouldn’t have the same view about I book I write or a research paper. The reason is that, if I write a book, say, then it has my name on the top, and, as an academic, my name is all I have to trade on. People come to associate it with a given level of quality and I try to make that level as high as I can. But if people can freely modify the content under my name, there’s no way I can make any kind of guarantee.

Does that make sense?

I guess I’ve always thought like that, but these lectures are a grey area, and, like I said, I have no issue with what you are proposing. On the contrary, I’m very pleased you find the material helpful in some way, and understand you might need to modify to teach from it.

So my thinking is evolving on this and I’m totally open to suggestions, as are my other collaborators.

Regards, John.


ok great. then I’ll use them as planned. let me know if you change your mind about this at any point. I wouldn’t want to risk any jail time. :wink:

i guess what i find a bit confusing is that the source code has a more open license. so, i can grab the source code, modify, build and share as I please (if i understand that license correctly), but I cannot share a modified version of the notebooks that you compiled on Just trying to make sense of this…