BeautifulSoup is one of the most popular Python libraries for web scraping and parsing HTML and XML documents. With over 18,000 stars on GitHub, developers often wonder - is BeautifulSoup open-source?
The short answer is yes, BeautifulSoup is open-source and available under a permissive MIT license. This allows anyone to freely use, modify, and distribute the source code, without restriction.
But there's a bit more nuance to BeautifulSoup's licensing. The main BeautifulSoup library that most developers use is BSD-licensed. However, BeautifulSoup depends on other open-source projects with different licenses:
Beautiful Soup -> lxml -> libxml2 -> MIT License
-> html5lib -> MIT License
The key things to know:
The practical effect of this licensing structure is that BeautifulSoup is very permissively licensed for commercial use cases. For most developers, you can think of BeautifulSoup as MIT-licensed even though the core library itself is under BSD.
Some key takeaways around BeautifulSoup's open-source status:
BeautifulSoup is open-source all the way down and quite liberally licensed for usage in commercial products and closed-source codebases. This permissive licensing has helped fuel BeautifulSoup's popularity over the years.