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I really don't know much about the licenses. I am working on a project which I might upload on a website. So I have a few questions.

  1. Can someone ever steal my code and commercially use it if I put my repo open-source?
  2. If that's really the case, what license should I use or how should I prevent it?
  3. Any more suggestions by understanding my situation as I have no knowledge in this context?

My main objective is to keep my website to be opensource and upload it on a domain and make sure no one steals my code or replicates a site just like it without mentioning me or giving me any credits.

Edit: maybe I didn't explain correctly. For example, there are tons of libraries out there right? I can't just clone and upload the same code with the same functionalities with a different name and I am the author of that library and benefit from that. Can I? I want it to be open-source and want it to be open to contributions. But I am just concerned for anyone to clone my code and upload it as their own completely. You know as their own work.

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Your requirements are incompatible with being open source.

Can someone ever steal my code and commercially use it if I put my repo open-source?

By making your code open source, you are allowing people to do many things with it, including commercial use. Assuming they abide by the conditions of the license, this would not be "stealing".

If that's really the case, what license should I use or how should I prevent it?

You should talk to your lawyers and get them to draft a proprietary license for you which meets your needs.

My main objective is to keep my website to be opensource and upload it on a domain and making sure no one [...] replicates a site just like it.

The ability to replicate a site just like yours is a fundamental tenet of open source. You cannot have open source software without allowing people to replicate it.

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  • No hey, maybe I didn't explain correctly. For example, there are tons of libraries out there right? I can't just clone and upload the same code with the same functionalities with a different name and me as the author of that library and benefit from that. Can I? I want it to be open-source and want it to be open to contributions. But I am just concerned for anyone to clone my code and upload it as their own completely. You know as their own work. Nov 3 at 13:24
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    "I can't just clone and upload the same code with the same functionalities with a different name ... can I?" yes, you absolutely can. You will need to preserve the previous authors' copyright notices, and certain free licences place further obligations on you if you do so, but you can do it.
    – MadHatter
    Nov 3 at 21:36
  • Regarding the 1st point/quote, this is not true. ShareAlike licenses are a type of open-source license meant to stop exactly this. Any project that uses the code, even if it is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, must be licensed under the same os license. The 'author' may be able to leverage the result for money, as has Android, but the code will still need to be publicly available, which renders any type of monopoly out of the question. If they are making money on their program alone, and the code for that program is freely available online, it won't be long before they have competition.
    – Nate T
    Nov 7 at 7:03

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