stackexchange helped me out in many ways and right now I'm stuck with the next problem.

There is a company, my company paid, to extend an opensource code because we had no time. The original code is licensed by EPL. The original License from the existing opensource code looks like this:

Eclipse Public License - v 1.0

The company that extended the code now wanted to hand over the code to us and added a new line to the license:

Copyright (c) 2020, CompanyName
All rights reserved.

Eclipse Public License - v 1.0

Is this allowed? I get a strange feeling about this, but I'm new to opensource and don't know if this is common practise.

Thank you for your help!

  • Adding the copyright line is fine. But adding 'all rights reserved' contradicts 'eclips public license' Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


It is normal for each rightsholder to add a copyright line to freely-licensed code. Who the rightsholder is in this case is a function of the contract between your company and the one that did the work. If the contract specifies that you own the rights in the work, the line should say something like

Copyright (c) YourCompany 2020

Otherwise, they own the rights, and it is appropriate that their name should appear. The licence statement is similarly appropriate, because in the absence of any arrangement to the contrary they received the work under EPL, and are returning it to you, modified, under the same terms, as EPLv1 s3 requires.

We have written elsewhere here about the habit of adding All rights reserved. Personally, I agree with this answer: it's an ancient cargo-cult practice, pointless in a Berne-Convention-copyright context, and actively harmful where freely-licensed content is involved. Don't do it.

  • Thank you for that professional answer! I will check the contract for who the rightsholder is and will request that that second line should be deleted.
    – nikx
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 8:17

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