So here's the situation: I'm working on a project where I have very specific needs and tasks in mind: A tool I can schedule/automate to archive all/latest Twitch VODS, clips, including chat logs for each for channels of my choosing. Most tools I've found either miss some bits (either no clips or no chats) or those that can do all are hard to automate/schedule.

I happened to find an existing Github repo (GPL v3) that basically already does everything I need as the core functionality. It just has a LOT of extra unneeded cruft thrown on top for my needs so I intend to fork and overhaul it.

Now I know Github specifically makes it hard to discover forks unless they get super popular (per their own documentation, it seems forks surface in the search API if their stars surpass the parent repo?).

If possible I'd like to turn it into its own standalone repo so it is discoverable. I'm just trying to figure out the optimal way to do it keeping the following concerns in mind:

  1. Keeping proper licensing and including proper credits and links to the original author/repo
  2. Would -like- to still be able to pull down any new updates from the parent repo, though this is optional and I have a feeling my modifications will get far enough to make it moot.

The fork has already been created and work has started. But if I can migrate it to a standalone repo, I definitely will.

I guess my biggest question here is the licensing/attribution stuff and what would be some of the best steps to take to keep this legit.

2 Answers 2


You should Github-fork it if you intend to make minor changes and/or contribute by way of pull requests. You can merge from the parent repo easily this way too.

However, if you intend to make huge changes and create a derivative spin-off software, then it's better to create a new GitHub repository, change the name of the software and repo, but preserve the GPLv3 license and preserve existing copyright notices (as attribution) in addition to your own, as required by the license.

For e.g. LibreSSL and BoringSSL were forked, derived and spun off from OpenSSL although the license isn't GPL.


I've dealt with this a couple of times. Github has some limitations around forked repos, such as actions in a forked repo don't count toward your github activity in your profile.

The only way I've found to disassociate the forked repo from its parent is to contact github tech support. They've always taken care of it within a day, but it has been years since I've tried.

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