Questions tagged [copyright]

Use this tag on questions about the copyrighting process and principles. Questions solely pertaining to general copyright are off topic.

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9
votes
2answers
815 views

So the GPL doesn't restrict the creator of the software in any way?

In another thread I started (Redhat buys Ansible), I am trying to figure out the economic value of a company transaction with respect to GPL'ed software. A few of the answers suggest that the owners ...
62
votes
4answers
10k views

How does GitHub's “forking right” cope with an “All rights reserved” project?

The GitHub FAQ states (emphasis mine): You're under no obligation to choose a license. It's your right not to include one with your code or project, but please be aware of the implications. ...
37
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I include a copyright line in every file?

This is similar to my other question, but specifically about Copyright rather than Licensing. Typically, each source file contains a line of the form Copyright 2010-2015, Me Is this strictly ...
16
votes
2answers
412 views

Theseus' Paradox applied to code copyright

Assuming a copyright license (I'll reference Apache 2.0, but that's an example only) that allows derivations, at what point are those derivations so extensive that the Apache license no longer applies?...
6
votes
1answer
848 views

Which author/copyright holder “type” is allowed in the MIT license? Pseudonym, Company name, …?

In many licenses you have to (or can?) state who is the author of the project, which is the one who "owns" the intellectual property (= the copyright holder). In the MIT license it e.g. is said like ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

I'm a little confused by copyright notices on open source projects. Let's say that a particular project is covered by a very permissive license, such as MIT or BSD. A copyright notice appears from ...
14
votes
2answers
237 views

Must contributor agreements be physically signed?

I've been developing an API internally with a few friends, and hope to expand it and make it open to the broader public. I've highlighted a lot of background in this question, but to recap, it's a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I use an MIT license for code but protect the copyright of photos in my repository?

My project is a fork of a project that comes with the MIT license and nobody wants to change the license that applies to the software. However, some of the content that is also stored on GitHub is not ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

Help with getting permission to open source a small piece of software

If you are an employee, work you do in the course of your job (as opposed to in your spare time) is a "work for hire" and the copyright is by default owned by the company you work for. How do you go ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens if stolen software is published as Open Source?

This is not a real world issue, at least for me. It is more about a thought experiment from a talk that I once had with a friend: Let's say that Acme develops closed source software for their own ...
29
votes
2answers
10k views

What's the difference between Copyright and Licensing?

Preamble There are two other questions, specifically related to Licensing and Copyright. In reviewing the answers and comments, I get the feeling that people generally consider the two to be the ...
12
votes
2answers
260 views

Why does the FSF make this recommendation about ranges of copyright years?

In the document “How to use GNU licenses for your own software”, the FSF says: For software with several releases over multiple years, it's okay to use a range (“2008-2010”) instead of listing ...
6
votes
1answer
459 views

Can I use/distribute LGPL command line software in mine that isn't LGPL?

I've developed a little software that use FFmpeg in command line mode. To further clarify: My software launch several times ffmpeg.exe that is stored inside the same folder as my .exe. User never ...
11
votes
1answer
263 views

Projects which require copyright assignment from contributors?

I read the following in ØMQ - The Guide (in Chapter 6, in the section Licensing and Ownership): All patches are owned by their authors. There SHALL NOT be any copyright assignment process. ...
7
votes
2answers
251 views

What license do I apply to my software if parts of its code is derived from MIT licensed open source software?

This is the first time I'm handling licenses and could use some guidance in this matter. I have developed a piece of Java software where parts of the code is derived from different classes licensed ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Does being open sourced mean others can use my logo?

Suppose I have created an open source application I have also created a snazzy logo to go with the application (for example, the Eclipse logo) I released my application's source code under a ...
13
votes
2answers
227 views

Is copyright automatic?

If I publish something on my website is a form of copyright automatically placed on that text? For example I know if you specifically say "This is published under [insert some cc license here]" then ...
10
votes
1answer
301 views

How to deal with licences after forking a project?

I forked a project with an MIT license on GitHub: The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) 2012 Some Name Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software ...
10
votes
1answer
485 views

How should I assert copyright when I'm forking an MIT project?

I have an open source software project licensed under MIT. The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) 2016 Håvard Fossli Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any .... I found ...
9
votes
1answer
192 views

Does the AGPL help to protect against closed source if the application is run on a remote server and proxied by a separate service?

Note that there is this related question of which this question is by no means a duplicate. It refers to a related but separate scenario. Long question title, I'll just go with an example. Suppose I ...
12
votes
1answer
980 views

How to deal with copyright infringement on GitHub

I have a public repository on GitHub. Some of the code was copy-and-pasted into another repository without keeping Licence headers and without any other back-linking to the original repository. How ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

Is the text in my open source project under the GPL?

I have an open source project that used to be under the GPL licence (now it has no licence). In this repository I had many short stories. My intention was for the code to be open source but the ...
7
votes
2answers
193 views

Can I adapt a CC-BY-SA licensed webpage to host rights-reserved copyrighted content?

I think the inverse of What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?. Some webpages, such as Code for America are licensed under CC-BY-SA. If I want to adapt the code for this ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

How to properly display the Copyright information in the User Interface or product documentation?

In order to fulfill license obligations (in some cases) one must display the copyright information (when not delivering source code). Should one display (in GUI or IFU) the copyright information of ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Can I use my username in copyright?

I am releasing a program under the GNU GPL v3.0. I need to include a copyright notice. Is it ok to use my username in the copyright notice as I don't want to use my real name?
1
vote
1answer
30 views

A small Go library under GPLv2, rewrite it under modified BSD

Go is using a modified BSD license. I would like to use the same license for some projects, most parts / libraries will be published under an open source license, but clients do demand some of the ...
8
votes
1answer
152 views

Can I remove some copyright holders from headers and replace them by a generic “and contributors”?

The project I'm involved in currently has headers of the following form: The X Development Team Organization A - Organization B - Organization C - Copyright 1999-2018 This file is distributed under ...
7
votes
5answers
653 views

Acknowledging employer in an open source project

My employer has given me to permission to open source a component of a project that I have been working on, allowing me to retain ownership and control, with the condition that they be acknowledged in ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Copyright notice must be regularly updated while the project is active?

I started an open source project in 2013, with the LGPL license. I've been regularly working on it for the last four years. Each file includes the standard copyright notice that include the copyright ...
6
votes
2answers
84 views

Am I infringing copyright if I use an improperly licensed project?

While answering this question, it was pointed out to me in the comments that software that is improperly licensed (in that case, by violating another license) causes its own license to be cancelled ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

How to use software published under MIT without copyright notice?

MIT License says: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. However, a few repositories do not have any ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Does the GNU Affero GPL help to protect against closed source if the application is run on a remote server?

Note that there is this related question of which this question is by no means a duplicate. It refers to a related but separate scenario. I'*m about to release an application and yet need to choose a ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

How do I detect an AGPL violation?

For client side code, even if it is obfuscated or is just a binary, I can imagine there might be ways of doing this, but if I have some server-side AGPL licensed code, how am I supposed to know that ...
4
votes
1answer
231 views

Can open source exist without copyright?

I was asked a question in my law class: is it possible for open source software to exist without copyright protection? In the absence of copyright, could software still exist that satisfied the open ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Do project owners have to comply with their software's license? [duplicate]

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

JPEG comment to convey Copyleft Multi-Licenced Copyright Notice

This question is related to Copyleft Multi-Licenced Copyright Notice. I upload pictures on commons.wikimedia.org and I want to facilitate the reuse but I want derivatives stay "libre". Therefore I ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

Understanding a Perl module license

Can someone clarify these claims: This module is free software you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. Copyright (C) year Some Author. All Rights Reserved It ...