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There is an NPM package on github geveloped by the company and licensed under MIT. There is one author listed in package.json file of this package, and there is a company copyright in the license.

I've made a fork of this project in order to rewrite it for my own needs (not for making the pull request, since the changes are going to be quite heavy). If I understand correctly, I must preserve the existing copyright and can add my own one under it. But what to do with package.json entries?

  • Should I list myself as author, and original author as contributor?
  • Or should I somehow refer to the company in general?
  • Or it is legal to only mention myself here (and leave the reference to company in README, which I feel I must do anyway)?

I have no real experience with FLOSS projects yet, so maybe this question is somewhat incomplete, - in this case, I'll be grateful for pointing out on any missing parts of a picture.

  • IANAL, but afaik, it's legal for you to do whatever you'd like with it, as it's licensed as such. Provided you include with the source a copy of the MIT license, that is. Of course MIT doesn't revoke the copyright claim, but it does revoke any requirement to display or uphold it, beyond as part of the copy of the original license. – Skidsdev Apr 29 at 14:24
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Should I list myself as author, and original author as contributor? Or should I somehow refer to the company in general? Or it is legal to only mention myself here (and leave the reference to company in README, which I feel I must do anyway)?

The documentation for the package.json file says that

The “author” is one person. “contributors” is an array of people.

Unfortunately, that doesn't reflect the reality of copyright law regarding works with multiple creators, which says that everyone who has made a copyrightable contribution to a work has a copyright interest therein. Fortunately, that is unaffected by local conventions such as the package.json file. So we're not dealing with anything formal as regards assertion of rightsholding status; it's just a packaging convention.

The function of the author entry seems to be to direct humans who wish to contact the person who best knows about the code they're looking at. I presume that the original author might get fed up of telling people that (s)he only wrote the original code on which the work-in-question rests, and that they need to contact the person who made all the modifications, ie, you.

So my advice, and it's only advice, as regards that file, is that you list yourself as author and the original author as a contributor.

As for the copyright assertions, as you suggest, leave all those that are already there intact and add one of your own.

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