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2

While in some sense this is really a question for Law SE, the common-sense version of it is a matter of whether there are original ideas in the deletion and whether the changeset is expressible (not necessarily as a patch, just in some comprehensible form) in a form that's insufficiently original/creative to be subject to copyright. As the extreme cases, ...


2

What this author has signed in not a Contributor License Agreement, giving the project additional (non-exclusive) rights in addition to what they get under the AGPL, but a transfer of copyrights (CTA, Copyright Transfer Agreement). This means that the AGPL project owns the copyrights on the contribution and the author has just as many rights as anyone else ...


12

Not all changes are of sufficient novelty to constitute something copyrightable, whether they are additions or deletions. For a simple example, consider any old out of copyright song or hymn of five verses. I could make an 'arrangement' of only the first, second, and fifth verses, but this should not be considered novel enough to be copyrightable. So in ...


0

I believe the question makes the assumption that there's just a single work and copyright can either apply or not. However, we have two works which are separately copyrightable: The commit history, and the code at a specific version. You get copyright in the history if you have a commit there, since you are one of the many authors of that history. You get ...


0

If you modify a work by removing from it or making rearrangements, the modifications you have made are based on your ideas which manipulate someone else's expression. Copyright is concerned with expression, not ideas. The copyright statutes in the United States do not define what "expression" is. If you wanted to assert copyright over something ...


37

For me, this exposes a weakness in the mental model many coders seem to have about the operation of copyright. Consider a pile of bricks, representing code contributions to a work. In one (surprisingly common) model, each brick is painted in a colour representing its licence status; red for BSD, blue for GPL, green for Apache, and so on. Whoever made and ...


2

The author has the copyright, so he can relicense from the license point of view. But the CLA is not a license, but a contract. And you need to read the contract to know what it allows and what not. One possiblity is, that the contributor signed that he will not license the code other than to the company the CLA is for or AGPL for the general public. Another ...


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