Say that I create an open source project with a license X, that grants user the capacity to edit and distribute my code, but under the same license.

Do I, as the owner and copyright holder, have to comply to the licensing terms that I agree to other users? This is, can I do whatever I want with my code (patenting rights, trademark rights, etc.) as the owner (even if this is contrary to the license) or I have to comply with the same conditions as other users?


1 Answer 1


It depends:

  • If you are the sole copyright holder, you don’t have to comply with this license.

  • If you aren’t the sole copyright holder (e.g., because you integrated a contribution made under this license), you have to comply with this license, unless the contributor has allowed you otherwise, e.g., by signing a CLA.

  • 2
    Interesting. Can I just include a CLA compliance notice in the project's license or root or somewhere or do I have to get them to phisically sign it? Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 22:46
  • 2
    @JuanRocamonde: This should be its own question, if it isn’t already answered. We have the contributor-agreements tag (you can find all related questions there).
    – unor
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 22:49
  • 3
    @JuanRocamonde we consider some of the issues surrounding explicit vs. implicit CLAs, and physical vs. digital signatures, in this question.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 5:31

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