I made a .NET C# project with an api library published on GitHub by some company.

So I'm now going to publish mine to GitHub as well, but I've found there is no license on the repository that I included. The company has a documentation webpage that explains how to use the api and "We can download the gem file from GitHub", but there is no license. Hey?

Okay then I wonder if I can say in my readme "please follow this documentation and download this repository". Is this a good way out or something better you can suggest me?


1 Answer 1


If a GitHub repository is not properly licensed, then the only rights you have are those given to you under the GitHub Terms of Service. The ToS gives you the right to create a fork, but there is where it stops.

Without a copyright license, you are not allowed to incorporate the library in your own project or to build upon it. The best way out of this situation is to contact the company that owns the library and ask them to properly license the library.

  • So is it also inappropriate to describe "follow this documentation" in my read me even if it's an interim measure until the company take an action?
    – kemakino
    Oct 3, 2018 at 17:04
  • Yes. It is inappropriate to publish your project without having a copyright license for the libraries you depend on. Oct 3, 2018 at 18:49
  • I see, but, I mean, even if I don't include the library (as a folder) in my repository?
    – kemakino
    Oct 3, 2018 at 23:06
  • 1
    Yes. You don't have to include something in your repository to violate the copyright rights on that work. Creating something that builds upon the work is sufficient. Oct 4, 2018 at 4:04
  • Understood. Thanks for your additional information.
    – kemakino
    Oct 4, 2018 at 7:14

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