I'm the author of Fulguris which is in conflict with Styx. Both projects are MPL 2.0. Fulguris is a fork of the decade old Lightning and Styx is just a rebrand of Fulguris.

Styx completely destroyed the git history. The guy running it keeps copying new code over from my repository to his removing my name in the process. Looking at Styx repository you can hardly track down any of the actual authors, myself included.

Is this copyright infringement? If it is copyright infringement how easy would it be to fix it? Can I demand the whole git history to be restored?

I asked the same question on GitHub community forum.

1 Answer 1


I'd say the specific act of removing git history is unlikely to be copyright infringement; the restriction in the MPL (section 3.4) is against removing or altering copyright notices, and a git commit username/e-mail/etc is definitely not a copyright notice.

However this case is messy because (as far as I can see) you haven't followed the MPL closely. In particular, the definition of Covered Software in the MPL (section 1.4) is:

means Source Code Form to which the initial Contributor has attached the notice in Exhibit A

and you don't seem to have added the notice in Exhibit A to any(?) of the source files in the repository. You could also have added a copyright notice to each file (as suggested in Exhibit A), and removing those would definitely have been a copyright violation. I suggest you go through, add the Exhibit A notice and an explicit copyright statement to each file.

  • My understanding is that the source code notice is not needed as long as you have a LICENSE file for instance: "If it is not possible or desirable to put the notice in a particular file, then You may include the notice in a location (such as a LICENSE file in a relevant directory) where a recipient would be likely to look for such a notice."
    – Slion
    Oct 29, 2021 at 8:21
  • I understand Contributors, myself included, still retain their copyrights even without an explicit notice. However the only sure way to track this done is through git history and commit attribution…
    – Slion
    Oct 29, 2021 at 8:29
  • 4
    "However the only sure way to track this done is through git history and commit attribution…" That's completely untrue I'm afraid. Every single commit I make professionally has my name on it but has no bearing whatsoever on the copyright status. Oct 29, 2021 at 8:45
  • Never meant to imply commit authoring means copyright attribution in whatever repository under whatever license…
    – Slion
    Oct 29, 2021 at 13:14
  • 1
    @Slion IMHO I wouldn't focus on the git history. Download the zip archive from github. That's what is copyrighted. Does that contain the correct copyright headers, notices etc? If yes, then they are compliant, if no they aren't. Copyright does not imply any right in keeping the git history at all.
    – Bakuriu
    Nov 4, 2021 at 17:59

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