Questions tagged [forking]

Use this tag for questions about creating either a private or competing version of an existing open project.

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71 votes
4 answers
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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. ...
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  • 810
20 votes
5 answers
4k views

What can I do when a fork of my project is out-competing mine?

Suppose I'm working on a FLOSS project and someone forked it and the forked project seems to be moving faster than mine and gains more popularity than my original project (possibly because the people ...
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  • 2,070
20 votes
1 answer
3k views

Forking GitHub repository (MIT): what references to the original author should remain intact?

I'll pick one of the most popular React boilerplates as an example here. Assume I've forked it (the commits history till the fork date remains intact). According to the text of MIT license, the only ...
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  • 369
20 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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  • 303
19 votes
3 answers
8k views

Common practice on GitHub and license/copyright

I have been searching the web for quite some time now, but the plethora of opinions/comments/articles about licensing questions make it difficult to verify how trustworthy the various sources are. ...
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17 votes
4 answers
847 views

Forking repos to "back up" in case they are removed?

I am wondering if forking a repo of software I use in case the owner ever decides to remove it is a silly thing to do or whether it actually makes sense. It seems like the repo could just disappear ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

When should I consider creating a private fork of a suitably licensed project for commercial use?

Suppose I am developing a commercial product, but one heavily based on open source software. Further suppose one of the open source projects I use has a permissive license (such as Apache 2). At some ...
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  • 6,695
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Derivatives and Forks... Is there a difference?

The terms fork and derivative have really been bugging me as I always seem to imply that they're different, but then in many ways the same. You hear the term fork many times on platforms such as Git ...
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  • 6,229
16 votes
3 answers
5k views

Rules/Guidelines about forking a project vs. creating a new one?

After reading these lines: make a new github project (not a fork). merge in the original repository. In this Answer, I was wondering if there are any rules or guidelines when to fork a ...
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  • 163
15 votes
2 answers
315 views

Starting (not forking) a new project based on a seemingly dead one

I recently forked a small github project to work on an open issue regarding the program's execution speed. I've achieved a substantial speedup, and I'm ready to submit a pull request. However, the ...
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14 votes
4 answers
11k views

Is keeping the forking link on a true fork necessary? (Github/GPL)

This question is about a true fork (with new name, different features, different objectives and not targeting a pull request). When I am developing a new application based on an other project I ...
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  • 325
14 votes
1 answer
647 views

How do Chromium and Chrome relate to each other?

Google Chrome and Chromium look very similar and seem related. How exactly do Google Chrome and Chromium relate to each other, and why are they separate products?
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14 votes
3 answers
554 views

What does the 'right to fork' mean?

Sometimes in regards to open source/free software I read about a 'right to fork'. What does it mean? Why is it relevant? Does all open source support this right?
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  • 10.8k
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Authors and contributors of forked project

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'...
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  • 233
12 votes
3 answers
490 views

What type(s) of licenses ensures that forks of my project will stay open source?

My knowledge of licensing is somewhat fuzzy, it's something I wish I would have looked into more when I got into making open source projects... That being stated, are there licenses that will ensure ...
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12 votes
1 answer
4k views

Can I change the license of a forked project to the MIT if the license of the parent project has changed from the GPL to the MIT?

Some time ago I have forked a project on the GitHub that used the GNU GPL v3 license. So I also had to use the GPL license in my fork. Recently, the author of the original project changed license to ...
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11 votes
2 answers
588 views

Recourse for forks ignoring open source license on original code in App Store?

I used to contribute to a free iOS app on GitHub that was released under the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. Multiple people have since taken the code from that GitHub repository and released ...
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11 votes
1 answer
387 views

Forking / Cloning an active open source project

I am looking at an open source project that handles OData calls against APIs. I'm thinking that it would make a great starting point for a new library aimed at an industry-specific API that is closely ...
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Should I use my own license in a fork of another GitHub repository, which I've revamped completely?

Background I am the owner of an open-source theme for Hugo named hugo-dream-plus which, as the name implies, is an upgraded version of hugo-theme-dream. Note that hugo-theme-dream is licensed ...
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9 votes
1 answer
977 views

How do I deal with authorship after a fork?

I've forked the protpy package into propy3 in order to make it usable for Python 3 users. I'm not a user of that package myself and have no clue of protein computations. However, in order to make it ...
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9 votes
1 answer
213 views

Removing Ads from Open Source projects

My most recent encounter with WebYog's SqlYog revealed that the vendor has made their Community edition open source, and available on GitHub, however the product still has obtrusive ads in it. It is ...
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  • 255
8 votes
2 answers
317 views

Is ripping off an open source library okay?

I don't know if I'm over-reacting but a while ago, I'm using a library https://github.com/sudeepag/SAConfettiView and I saw an open ticket https://github.com/sudeepag/SAConfettiView/issues/57 and it ...
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  • 199
8 votes
2 answers
215 views

Can I be charged for support from the original developers when I fork a project?

During development of ParrotBot, I've ran into many issues in terms of debugging, design and integration. In the chat room, I've received lots of support that has helped me greatly, so that I could ...
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  • 6,229
8 votes
2 answers
285 views

When does a forked project require a license?

I haven't quite grasped the implications of forking a licensed project to public. I am assuming that a similar license should be kept, but what happens if that's not possible? Edit I am providing ...
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  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
293 views

Can the ability to fork override the copyright owner's desires?

Consider the following scenario Project A is originally licensed under a permissive license By the time it reaches version 6, it has built up a strong user base, many of those users producing closed ...
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  • 6,695
7 votes
2 answers
290 views

How to store our own fork of a project to ensure pulling fixes and contributing back is as easy as possible

I work at a small company in a small IT department. We use Visual Studio Online (the Team Foundation Server flavor of VSO) to store our source code. We're interested in deploying an open source (GPL ...
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  • 4,988
7 votes
2 answers
819 views

How to structure git repository for a new project based on an existing one?

I am looking to write a new open source library (at github.com/me/my_lib, say). Rather than starting from scratch I would like to begin with a copy of the code from an existing project (github.com/...
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7 votes
1 answer
8k views

Differences between Firefox and IceCat?

From GNUzilla: GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While ...
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  • 1,992
7 votes
1 answer
456 views

How should I continue work on an abandoned open source project?

I've found an open source project (MIT-licensed) that I really loved the idea and the project code base itself, however it seems to be abandoned and people are doing their own forks from it. I did ...
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  • 179
6 votes
5 answers
677 views

Preventing people from forking and profiting over minor changes

Twinone App Locker is an Android app. It used to be open-source, released under an Apache 2 License. It was ad-supported. People forked it. If I understand correctly, they tended not to make any ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Differences between Firefox and Iceweasel

Iceweasel is a fork of Firefox which was made by the Debian project because the license conditions of the Firefox name and logo violate the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Did Debian do any other ...
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  • 11.3k
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Etiquette around forks & npm

What is the etiquette around forking and NPM? Consider the following sequence of events: There is an existing open source project published on GitHub (or similar) under some standard permissive ...
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6 votes
2 answers
145 views

How to track upstream using Git when forking a project?

There is an open source project that I'd like to fork for various reasons. The upstream project uses SVN for source code management, but they maintain a read-only Git mirror on GitHub. I want to take ...
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  • 267
6 votes
1 answer
677 views

Where is csharp-sqlite now maintained?

csharp-sqlite is the only pure-C# implementation of an SQLite client. The project used to live at https://code.google.com/p/csharp-sqlite The last update was 4 years ago. The homepage says: For ...
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5 votes
1 answer
96 views

Licensing for forked projects

If a project is licensed with MIT license, can someone fork the project, create significant changes, and put a more restrictive license on it? Or even copyright it?
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5 votes
1 answer
241 views

What are the best ways to get involved with open source projects? [closed]

I would like to know if someone could explain to me how to go about working on an open source project. I know that you can use git and other types of programs to commit code, but is there some sort of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
79 views

Copyright notices in a forked AGPL codebase

My workplace uses an open source project with an AGPL 3.0 license. It's been abandoned as far as I can tell – no commits for 5 years aside from a handful of contributed pull requests (the most recent ...
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  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
523 views

Can I add "third clause" to BSD-like license?

I forked a project which is licensed under “BSD-like” license. This goes as the following: Copyright © 20xx Author CopyRight © 20xx Another author All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in ...
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  • 153
4 votes
5 answers
3k views

If a project is forked and its license is changed, which license should be followed?

We have seen a lot of open source project on GitHub. But what would happen if someone fork a project and modify & improve from it? For example, if an original open source project creator states ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How is the wow.js fork free, while the original project is not free?

I searched for a library to manage browser scrolling. I came upon https://wowjs.uk/. If you look at the bottom, it says it's free, and on its GitHub page the license is MIT. However, it's a project ...
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4 votes
1 answer
128 views

Can I change the license of a forked project from LGPLv3 to MIT?

I have forked a project with LGPLv3 license and I did there a lot of changes. Can I distribute a new version under the MIT license? Or only the possibility is to write the code from "scratch"? ...
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  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
272 views

Forking a GPL 2 Project on GitHub

I recently forked a project on GitHub. After doing a significant amount of work on the fork I was wondering how to proceed with spinning it off into an independent project. The reason I ask is because ...
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  • 41
3 votes
2 answers
216 views

Term or phrase for a 'soft fork'?

I've made some changes to an open source project but I haven't (yet) been able to get those changes merged into the upstream project source control repo. I'd like to publish my fork of the project ...
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3 votes
1 answer
52 views

Can original author transfer rights for GPLv3 project to other person?

Let's have one guy who have been working on game and published it as GPL open source project. After some time, community forks popped out, while original author got increasingly tired of his project ...
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3 votes
1 answer
145 views

Publish a heavily modified version of forked NPM package

I have forked and modified a legacy open-source NPM package for my personal use. And I thought publishing my modification might be useful for others. The "heavily modified" in my case is: ...
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  • 133
2 votes
2 answers
290 views

Original author splitting up and developing independent fork

I'm the original author of an Apache 2.0 licensed open source project. I'm considering splitting up from this project and continuing to develop my own fork. Do I owe anything to the original authors ...
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2 votes
1 answer
213 views

Fork maintain and distribute a MIT project

Given a project which is under MIT, has been archived, can it be forked, restarted the dev and be redistributed/renamed?
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  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
544 views

GitHub repository ownership when working for a company

In the context of academic research, a company holds a GitHub account. Researchers come and go, and many create a repository related to their research project, using open-source licenses such as GPL3. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
236 views

Can we re-format the text of a license after forking a repository?

Say I fork a project. I'd like to adjust the format of the license without actually changing its content. Is this allowed? Specifically, the license does not contain line breaks in some cases. So ...
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  • 227
2 votes
1 answer
96 views

Is commit author name stripping copyright infringement?

I'm the author of Fulguris which is in conflict with Styx. Both projects are MPL 2.0. Fulguris is a fork of the decade old Lightning and Styx is just a rebrand of Fulguris. Styx completely destroyed ...
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  • 121