41

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 made their contribution. If they chose not to do so, there is no existing notice from that author to preserve. There is never (as far as I know) any ...


27

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. Copyright is instead a system of time-limited monopolies on certain acts which the law grants to copyright holders for the ultimate purpose of encouraging ...


25

For the Apache 2.0 License, there is both the legal code, and what you need to "apply" the license to the work in question. Having a license file provides the legal code. That's great, but it doesn't tell me the specifics... does that license really apply here? When did the license take effect? The Apache page goes on to instruct you how to place it in ...


18

The short answer is no. You cannot remove a BSD license notice, otherwise you are no longer licensed per the BSD (many variants) that all share the essential requirement to retain the copyright and license/notice texts in source and/or binaries. If you look at a BSD variant text from wikipedia: 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above ...


17

Substantial portion is a legal term. Its exact definition will depend on jurisdiction, be subject to interpretation and possibly including subjective analyses. When in doubt, ask a lawyer. To err on the safe side, assume that it applies to any portion, no matter the size. To give you a random example, here's what Wikipedia has to say for Canadian copyright ...


17

I'm surprised this question doesn't come up more often. It's a tricky issue, and one that is highly open to interpretation. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. There is not a lot of specific guidance on this issue, but a well-researched overview of the topic was published by The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, titled "Open source ...


16

The copyright line isn't actually part of the license, it's a separate entity. So changing that doesn't change the license. In fact "©" is the correct form, so that change at least counts as an improvement in my book. Beyond that though I'd stick to the canonical form of the license if there is one. The MIT license itself has many slight variants, so the ...


14

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 substantial portions of the Software. But you are allowed to add a copyright notice. If you want to keep the MIT license, which is what I would advise you to do, ...


11

I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that has a law that explicitly states that a license notice must be included in each file, or conversely that it need not be included in each file. In all countries that have ratified the Berne convention, all works are subject to copyright, whether they include a copyright notice or not. (A copyright notice may help, ...


11

Is this legal to do such modification? Answer no. New question: Can you do anything against this? On court: Yes, if you have registered it or at least send a postal copy to yourself. Actually it could be that the person intends to register copyright on his/her own and even sue you for copyright infringement... could. On GitHub directly: Yes: File a DMCA ...


10

Free software and open source licenses Free software and open source licenses seek to grant additional rights, beyond those granted by copyright law. Strictly speaking, such licenses cover the acts of distributing and modifying software, not directly the act of using it. Copyright law controls who can distribute and modify software; if you obtain software ...


10

No, just because the software is hosted on SourceForge does not mean that it is open source. In the United States (and many other countries), works are protected by copyright and the author must grant specific licenses. A work that is uploaded to SourceForge without a specific license granted is protected by copyright. However, unlike GitHub, SourceForge ...


10

Whilst IANAL/IANYL, and no developer, it seems to me that the question boils down to "is it a licence violation to offer a repository from which someone could, with some effort, extract a non-licence-compliant subset of the code"? I would argue that it isn't. With enough care, it's possible to extract a non-compliant version of code from most repositories. ...


10

If downstream users of your project distribute it without including attribution for the CC-BY-licensed work, they are in violation of the terms of that CC-BY-licensed work. This is an obligation that copyright holder of the work has asked for as part of allowing redistribution of their copyrighted work. If someone redistributes the work without meeting that ...


9

Copyright and open source are not mutually exclusive. In fact, most open-source licenses depend on copyright in order to function properly. The GPL comes most readily to mind: you couldn't enforce the requirement to share-alike if copyright didn't let the author decide who may or may not copy the work. But even something as simple as an MIT-style attribution ...


9

The MIT license is a very permissive license, and allows re-licensing. The license doesn't require you at all to to keep the attribution line in any of the files, but it's kind of a dick move to remove it straight away. Keeping it there also makes it easier for re-users to find out who the copyright belongs to - though for a license as permissive as the MIT ...


9

From a legal perspective: You should attach licensing information to a file in such a way that you cannot successfully deny that you intended to license the file under those terms. Suppose, at some point in the future, you attempt to claim in a court of law that you did not license some particular file under a particular license. The valid methods of ...


9

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) draws a distinction between Apache-licensed software that is produced by the ASF, and your own software that is distributed under the Apache 2 license. The rules applied to the NOTICE change whether your software falls in one category or the other. http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html#Apply-My-Software How ...


9

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 single and indivisible creative work? In general, consensus seems to be that software copyright can be considered in a very fine grained manner, down to individual ...


8

The answer to your question is very wide, because it depends on the Laws of the Country you're referring to. To keep a long story short the above copyright statement is incorrect for any license. To take it as a general discussion that will probably protect you in many countries, I suggest you to update the year as soon as you update that source file. ...


8

Putting "now" is a bad practice since it will necessarily become inaccurate over time. Even if you continue to update your work and remember to change "now" to a specific year whenever you make your final change, years-old copies of your work made by other will not have copyrightable changes in the current year. Even if you only ever distribute copies for ...


8

The comments hit on a lot of these points, but let me try to provide a more comprehensive response. Unless you have a strong reason to do so (and character count of your file header comments is not a strong reason), you should stick with one of the well-known software licenses. Your header just needs to mention the license that it is covered under and you ...


8

Section 4(c) lists the only obligations you have with regards to copyright notices: You must retain, in the Source form of any Derivative Works that You distribute, all copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices from the Source form of the Work, excluding those notices that do not pertain to any part of the Derivative Works; If there are zero of ...


7

You can certainly try. Instead of including the entire license, you could have this: Copyright (c) 2016 Thomas Owens. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under the terms of the MIT license. For a copy, see <https://opensource.org/licenses/MIT>. In theory (IANAL), this should stand up in court, since you're still making it pretty obvious how ...


7

It is recommended in many places, including by the license writers, to include the license header as well as the license file. Some reasons for this are: it clearly demonstrates what the license applies to it points to the full license The license file itself can then contain solely the license, without having to list everything it applies to.


7

Since you're using the LGPL, I suggest you follow the GNU project's recommendations: your copyright notices should look like Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 cannatag and you should simply update them all at the start of every year, assuming you're publishing every year (if your source code is publicly available during development, that could be ...


7

There is no "exact format" as most licenses let you free in how to organize their notices. One common pattern is to concatenate the different LICENSE in your own LICENSE file, starting with your own license information and an explanation that the following are the license notices of the various dependencies. This is also something that you see a ...


7

You must not misrepresent the copyright ownership of the software. Therefore, you cannot remove a copyright notice, or replace it with your name. The original authors still hold the copyright to their work. When you make changes to the software, the copyright of the software is shared between you and the original authors. You can therefore add a notice for ...


7

This is a little tricky because the LGPL and AGPL are not strictly compatible. For LGPL code that is linked to AGPL code, compatibility is not required, because LGPL-licensed can be linked to anything, even proprietary software, without causing a licensing issue. However, for LGPL code that is fully transplanted into a larger software project, such that it ...


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