20

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 license as what's in the project. If you contribute to project B, you own the code, and gave Project B a license to that code. Nothing prevents you from putting ...


17

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 receive the code (strictly, when they do something for which they have no permission if they don't accept the licence). You yourself can do what you like with ...


16

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 to look at, and fork your repository. These are terms that you have accepted when accepting their Terms of Service when creating a GitHub account. Even when you ...


15

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 be all the rights you need to take over and keep the project alive. But that does not make you the copyright owner. The original copyright still belongs to the ...


11

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. This is also why you can dual-license, re-license the work or sell commercial licenses. Now, you must be very careful that you really are the sole copyright ...


11

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. Second, the fact that it's abandoned doesn't change its owners rights; in particular, copyright remains with the creators. But for an open source project ...


10

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 write are your own, and the parts you didn't write aren't. The only difference is that, since this is an open source project, your co-contributors have the ...


9

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 allowed to take my changes (under LGPL) and use it in the closed product. You might ask everybody to write over their rights to their changes to you, but that'd very ...


8

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 argument convincing: Giving away your software does not give away any competitive advantage. Basically, you need to assure management that your competitors are not ...


8

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 ...


6

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 the code "owns" the code, meaning you do. Where the code lives does not have much impact. Now, if this is work you did "for hire" as an employee or ...


6

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 transfers copyright. In the first case, the contributor is usually still free to do whatever they like with the code because they still own it (except for revoking ...


6

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 intentionally avoiding the issue of licensing but just focusing on author attribution. The first thing I would do in this case - although not necessarily ...


6

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 you make enough changes to a copyrighted work to yourself qualify for copyright protection, then both you and the original rightsholder now have a copyright ...


6

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 available by others under the terms described in that license document. In short, licensing a work under the GPL does not impact your own copyright of your work; you ...


5

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 source license, you are perfectly within your rights to mirror the software elsewhere, even if you’re not the copyright holder. (This is what makes GitHub’s ...


5

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 licensing perspective) to forking someone else's freely-licensed repository without coordinating directly with them. The original owner holds copyright on the ...


5

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 LGPL. If all the code is yours, you can do anything with it. Including dual-licensing similar to Qt. But if some of that code is not yours, then you've got a ...


5

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 the essay: The [unmodified] BSD License Problem. A legal requirements to preserve the integrity of authorship and copyright information follows from article ...


4

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 © 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. http://fsf.org/ Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it ...


4

No, the copyright term is x year after the creators death, not after the current owners death.


4

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 in the past, released the code to the public under a FLOSS license. The condition that you must solely own the copyrights means that you can not have any ...


4

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. When you write code, you automatically have the copyright on it. It's then up to you how you license that for use by others. The only restriction you really ...


4

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 changing the contract mid-stream. You can unilaterally disclaim any rights interest in the CMS and work done thereof. There is a standard form of words that appears ...


3

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, what license the content of the particular forum is under, and what additional license (if any) the individual contributor has put it under. The code you've ...


3

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 maintaining these upstream projects. But speculating on such things is premature at best, and unfounded at worst.


2

There are a couple of options to give credit or "shoutouts", depending on the owner of the copyright, and the license you use. If you hold the copyright: Hosting. Hosting on your employers GitHub page already establishes a strong link to your employer. Hostile forking could reduce the effectiveness of this measure, but is uncommon. Hosting 2: Distributing ...


2

Although many people believe that lines like copyright 2018, Bart van Ingen Schenau are part of the license, legally they are not. Those lines are notices of copyright ownership (or copyright notice) and they declare who owns the copyright on the work. A copyright notice consists of the word "copyright" followed by a list of years and/or ranges of years and ...


2

While the GPLv2 and GPLv3 are very similar, they have clauses that make them incompatible. If you combine GPLv2 covered code with GPLv3 covered code, you cannot share the result. Some GPLv2 software doesn't limit you to the GPLv2, but also allows any later version of the GPL. In that case, you could use that code as if it were GPLv3-licensed. Without such ...


1

I've come across this situation several times as a consultant. First, goto https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/ and set up an account and register the copyright for your code. Officially and legally. Now there's no question who owns its copyright. Now, go to your employer and openly discuss it with him, saying he can have unlimited free use of your code....


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