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I have a senior year project hosted on GitHub, including CAD files, code, and a written paper (PDF) that describes my work. I would like to ask what copyright or permissions I should include on this in order to have correct protections on my work. I do not mind people referencing my work or basing their own work off of mine, but I do not want people to be able to take my code or paper and present it as their own. Thank you for your advice.

EDIT: I think my concern is more on my written work rather than my code, as the latter is more difficult to "monitor" or protect that. The paper I care more about making sure it can be shared and available online but attributed to me.

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  • When would you consider that someone is presenting your work as their own? In your mind, if I base something on your project, what would I need to do to not present your code as mine? Jul 10 at 6:56
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You don't have to do anything. Any work which requires some ingenuity or creativity (and a student project's text, CAD files or code certainly qualify) is automatically covered by copyright laws. Copyright law only defines the exceptions to this general rule.

If it comes to choosing a license, it is in academia common to use a creative commons license for text. There are different flavours, but each requires attribution when the work is being shared or used otherwise. The most common in this context (at least in the areas I venture) is the simple CC-BY which allows to share and modify and do whatever - on the condition of giving credits to the original author. See details in the link above. If you want to be a bit more restrictive on the conditions, checkout the other creative commons licenses.

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  • I think this depends a bit on what the OP means by "I do not mind people [...] basing their own work off of mine". Jul 9 at 16:44
  • I think what I mean to ask is what copyright license should I use in order for my work to be properly protected. I would not want my paper I wrote to be more or less copied by someone, though the code is more difficult to track in this way so I am not as concerned for that.
    – CharlieD
    Jul 10 at 9:53
  • I added a small subsection on choosing a license Jul 11 at 11:10

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