Has anyone tried to separately license their repository (e.g. Git) from the code that it holds? How did it go? (Sorry about the open-ended nature of the question.)
Corollary to this question: what is the legal status of repositories? Typically, projects do not articulate the copyright and license status of the repository objects. The
LICENSE files and copyright headers refer to the content, but are mum about the version control meta-data. I don't think I've ever seen the licensing documents in a FOSS project say anything about the status of, say, the bodies of commit messages.
For instance, a developer could claim claim that all the commit log messages and other meta-data, such as the names of branches and the shape of the object graph, are proprietary. In essence, that the whole repository object as such is not free.
Thus replicating the directory (with
git clone, or any other means) would be forbidden. Or various other rules: e.g. the developer could impose that clones of the repository are allowed, but may not be publicly hosted or redistributed. Outside contributors of the project might be required to assign copyright, to the project, of any commit message text.
Yet, a tarball made of a source code baseline using
git archive (or a web front end thereof) could be freely licensed, e.g. BSD, MIT. It would contain a free
LICENSE file and other files with copyright headers pointing to or reiterating that license.
This could be used as a tactic for discouraging forking, unofficial mirrors (particularly on hosting sites the developer disagrees with) hostile project takeovers and such.
What experience is there with this sort of positioning?