49 votes
Accepted

If my repository uses a MIT license, can I submit a DMCA takedown for someone who copied it?

I've heard that MIT takes away most copyright This is absolutely not correct; the MIT License (and all other open source licenses) rely on copyright law to be effective. and permits free use The ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to have the "// (c) 2019 John Smith" header in all files when there are hundreds of contributors?

As far as I am aware, all FLOSS licenses that deal with copyright notices only require the preservation of notices that exist. Each author had the opportunity to add their own name to header when they ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
29 votes

Is there a license that prevents someone from copying the entirety of the source code and claiming it as their own or using it with ill intent?

I don't want people copying all of my source code and claiming it as their own work Any open source license will do this; even the most "bare bones" licenses (MIT, 2 clause BSD etc) require ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Who will be the copyright owner of a new file in a forked repository on github?

Your question suggests that you regard copyrights as property rights. This is a completely understandable misconception - big content creators push this agenda quite hard - but it is a misconception. ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
25 votes
Accepted

What should I do with the copyright details in a codebase when modifying it when it wasn't forked?

I think this may be one of those cases where people get confused about copyright because they're caught up in the mechanics of github. You have downloaded a copy of a piece of code licensed under MIT, ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
25 votes
Accepted

How do I release code written for a company to the public?

Mere permission to publish is no use if you want to make this software open-source (and I'm assuming you do, because otherwise this question's off-topic!). The important thing is to get a clear ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
23 votes
Accepted

How to deal with licences after forking a project?

No, you are not allowed to change the copyright notice. Indeed, the license text states pretty clearly: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,587
21 votes

Are there any software licenses that allow for everything but changing the license or dual-licensing?

Firstly, you need a copyleft license, so that you can ensure derivatives would be subject to the same license conditions. Secondly, the license must prevent imposition of additional restrictions that ...
ruben2020's user avatar
  • 2,318
20 votes

Is there a good license for a libertarian programmer who's against intellectual property?

Anyone may use the software for any purpose they choose ... However, no one may place any type of restrictions on my software Your basic problem is that these are self-contradictory aims. In the ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
18 votes

Does the owner of the github repository own the copyright to the code?

When you put code on GitHub, you retain all the copyright to your code. However, you do grant GitHub a license to host the code, and you also allow GitHub users a set of rights - namely the ability ...
Zizouz212's user avatar
  • 6,449
18 votes
Accepted

How much of a given work of software can be claimed under fair use?

Fair use is not a right that you have, but it is a way to defend yourself against a claim of copyright infringement. In the end, it is a judge who decides if your use of the copyrighted work falls ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
14 votes

Theseus' Paradox applied to code copyright

In the United States, a determination of copyright infringement is based on two broad considerations: the author's access to the original work the new work's similarity to the original work If you ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Why use licenses? Why not release open source code to public domain?

The answer is actually pretty complicated. Public Domain isn't a thing everywhere This may be surprising, but in many jurisdictions, the concept of the public domain doesn't exist. Even for ...
Zizouz212's user avatar
  • 6,449
14 votes
Accepted

Can a company circumvent the freedom of distribution on GPL software for its employees or service providers?

The GPL FAQ is fairly clear: Is making and using multiple copies within one organization or company “distribution”? No, in that case the organization is just making the copies for itself. As a ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Can I resubmit someone else's pull request if he does not sign CLA?

This depends in part on what the CLA requires, but it may be possible. Do you have the ability to reuse the submission at all? In general, it's understood that contributions to an open source ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
13 votes
Accepted

How to deal with copyright infringement on GitHub

One clarifying point: there is usually a legal obligation to keep original copyright notices with original license headers and texts. There is not usually a legal obligation to "link back" -- this ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Copyright notice in the file header (Apache v2 license)

SmartBear Software only has a copyright claim on files that were copied from the Swagger repository. --And even there, I see some problems. More on that later.-- The copyright on any files that are ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
13 votes

Copyright notices and multiple developers

What is the creative work that the developers contributed to? Is every file an independent creative work for the purpose of copyright? Or does a software constituted from multiple files present a ...
amon's user avatar
  • 38.9k
13 votes
Accepted

Are there legal reasons blocking the use of Apache 2 License in France

French courts definitely don't have a problem with licences in foreign languages. Two French courts (a lower court and the court of appeal) have upheld the GPL, which is not written in French. (Yes, ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 48.9k
13 votes

Does every adaptation of a CC BY-SA work violate its terms?

The usual disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and this is not personalized legal advice. Am I reading too much into the license, or am I somehow misunderstanding copyright law and how it works with Creative ...
David Z's user avatar
  • 356
13 votes
Accepted

Can I fork libstdc++ without disclaiming copyright for the modifications I make?

This is not a legal concern, but one of project policy. What this FAQ item says is essentially: if you submit contributions to the GNU project, they will not use them unless you first assign copyright ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Who owns copyright if I place code in a repository but do not update the copyright notice?

To answer the question in the title of your post: Who owns copyright if I place code in a repository but do not update the copyright notice? You own the copyright in any code you wrote. This is ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How to apply MIT license in the GitHub repo for fully free project?

That's not true that a public domain dedication won't protect you, for instance the Unlicense is a public domain dedication but still includes a limitation of warranty. In GitHub's choosealicense.com ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,587
12 votes
Accepted

Rules for appropriate editing of copyright notices in cloned, Apache-2.0-licenced, opensource repositories

Yes this is correct but you do not need to duplicate the same Apache notice twice. Instead you could use this simpler and more useful form IMHO: Copyright 2017 My Example Company Copyright ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Use SVG code licensed under CC

Fair disclosure: I'm not a lawyer. Short version: I'd do both. Longer version: The way I understand the CC license(s), the point is to make it very clear where the images you're using come from. Most ...
Mureinik's user avatar
  • 5,132
12 votes

Is there a license that prevents someone from copying the entirety of the source code and claiming it as their own or using it with ill intent?

I don't want people copying all of my source code and claiming it as their own work Pretty much any license will require attribution, even MIT and most BSD variants. The exception is public domain ...
Solomon Ucko's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Who owns the copyright to code which the author was paid to write?

This question touches a lot of different copyright issues; here's the basic overview (under US law) followed by how I think it applies: (1) The author owns the copyright. If it's a work made for ...
TroublesomeQuarry's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Theseus' Paradox applied to code copyright

The license used, is actually completely irrelevant. The question lies purely in copyright. What you need to figure out, is whether your changes will constitute a derivative work. Derivative work ...
Zizouz212's user avatar
  • 6,449
11 votes
Accepted

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

The MIT license doesn't "bind" you to use the MIT license for your application, but it's a simple way to comply with the license if you haven't got pressing reasons to use another license. Yes, all ...
Glenn Randers-Pehrson's user avatar

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