20 votes

Who owns contributed code?

You own any code that you write. When you contribute to projects you aren't handing over your copyright (ownership), you're giving them a license to your work. It's usually inferred to be the same ...
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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 ...
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  • 6,229
17 votes
Accepted

Own LGPL code in proprietorial project

As the owner of the copyright, you can do what you want with your code. It is others who are bound by the licence(s) under which you distribute the code, because they accept those licences when they ...
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  • 37.9k
16 votes
Accepted

As owner of GPL library, can I break the licensing terms?

Yes indeed, as the sole author (copyright owner) of a library, you are not bound by the terms you choose to license it to the general public. Thus you can use it in your own proprietary programs. ...
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  • 5,257
15 votes

Are you legally allowed to use abandoned projects?

An open source license which fulfills the open source definition gives you the right to fork a project, make modifications, and distribute this derived work, even in exchange for money. These should ...
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  • 11.3k
11 votes
Accepted

In an open sourced project who is the owner?

In general, if you write the code, you own the copyright. You may have written module A, or the file B, or the function C, or the line D. Doesn't matter who else worked on those parts, the parts you ...
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  • 8,463
11 votes
Accepted

Are you legally allowed to use abandoned projects?

There are a number of issues to consider. First, to answer the main question: you are legally allowed to use any abandoned open source project, the fact that it's abandoned doesn't change your rights....
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  • 3,983
10 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 ...
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  • 33.2k
10 votes

Excluding open-source contributions from work-for-hire

Is there language I can insert that carves out an exception for patches I make to the open-source dependencies Of course, but you've missed out the second requirement: that it be acceptable to the ...
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  • 37.9k
9 votes

Own LGPL code in proprietorial project

Your code is your own, you can use it in closed products while giving away copies under e.g. LGPL. Just be clear that if I take your code and modify it under LGPL (e.g. to fix bugs) you are not ...
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  • 4,989
8 votes

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

From my personal experience, where I convinced management at my company (small biotech) to allow me to open source a software package, there are a few points that you need to sell to make your ...
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  • 363
6 votes

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

Say I'm the only one uploading code to someone's private repository, do they own the copyright to the code? Or do I own the copyright to the code since I wrote it? The author (or copyright holder) of ...
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6 votes
Accepted

How do I attribute authors if I don't know their real names?

Your question is: How do I attribute authors if I don't know their real names? I think this has wider applicability to just this case, so I'll attempt to answer with future visitors in mind. I'm also ...
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  • 2,100
6 votes
Accepted

Do I still own code I donated to GPL project?

It depends. Did you sign a Contributors License Agreement? These agreements usually clarify if the contributor keeps their copyright and just licenses the code to the project or if the contributor ...
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  • 11.3k
6 votes
Accepted

How much changes are required for the "editor" of an open source software to become the new owner?

I think I read somewhere that if you modify the source of a software enough, you become the owner ("author") of that source. First I'd like to make sure that this is correct. It isn't. If ...
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  • 37.9k
6 votes
Accepted

Who is owner of code under GPL3?

The copyright and license headers you quote in your first segment pertain only to "this license document" -- i.e., the text of the GPLv3 itself -- and not to any external work that might be made ...
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  • 30.9k
6 votes
Accepted

GitHub repository ownership when working for a company

From a legal point of view, it doesn't matter. You should ensure that the copyright statement in each file correctly names whichever entity owns the copyright. From an academic credit point of view, ...
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5 votes

Are there any places for abandoned repos to be transferred?

the copyright remains with the ostensible owner attached to that account Not quite, the copyright remains with the owners of the code (the copyright owners). In fact, if the software is under an open ...
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  • 3,983
5 votes
Accepted

Can I legally use code I found on a forum?

You're essentially asking here: Can I legally use code I found on a forum? The short answer is 'it depends'. And by the way, IANAL/TINLA. It depends on: whether the code is eligible for copyright, ...
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  • 2,100
5 votes
Accepted

How should a codebase's original author be credited after they've transferred ownership of it?

Based on the exchange you've had with the previous repository maintainer, the previous maintainer never transfer ownership of his copyright. This situation is virtually identical (from a copyright and ...
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  • 30.9k
5 votes

Pull request ownership, who owns the code committed?

If all the code is yours, then you can do anything that you would like with it. You can change the license, or even remove the license altogether. You don't have to keep a version licensed under the ...
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  • 6,229
5 votes

Acknowledging employer in an open source project

First, don't change the license. For most free software licenses, including GNU GPL, this is not even allowed. Why having credits in the license itself is not a good idea is pointed out by the FSF in ...
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  • 8,645
4 votes
Accepted

Acknowledging employer in an open source project

Let me tell you one thing. Definitely, and please, please don't modify the license that you apply to your software. For example: The GPLv3, is copyrighted itself (emphasis is mine): Copyright © ...
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  • 6,229
4 votes

Can copyright of an open sourced product be passed down through generations?

No, the copyright term is x year after the creators death, not after the current owners death.
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  • 8,986
4 votes
Accepted

Can you use your own work in a closed source product if it's licensed under the GPL?

Absolutely. If you own the code, you can dual-license it, or do whatever you want with it. Just be sure you own all of it - i.e. that you haven't incorporated someone else's copylefted code into it. ...
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  • 2,100
4 votes
Accepted

GPL copyright owner copyleft

If you, and only you, own the copyrights on a piece of code, then you can do with that code whatever you like. For the choices that you have, it makes very little difference if you have, at some time ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Copyright of proprietary code created by author of MIT licensed code

All credit to you for not wanting to hoover up work done by your developer simply because you don't feel you're entitled to it. However, speaking as a contractor, I wouldn't be happy to start ...
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  • 37.9k
4 votes
Accepted

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

With the GPL, there is no need for any "transfer of ownership" in a legal sense. Anybody can pick up the code and make any changes they like to it, so long as they make those changes ...
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4 votes

Is there any license which is based off on AGPL, but provides exemptions for the owner to allow others use it under a different license?

Current idea is to use AGPL, but add an exemption to the license (as owner of the library), that allows owner to sell or provide licenses to use the library to others who do not need to follow AGPL. ...
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3 votes

What does happen with Open Source products after the acquisition?

Such an acquisition can't break the existing licenses of existing open-source projects. IBM could, however, theoretically, decide that it will reduce, or even stop any investment in packaging and ...
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  • 3,767

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