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How does Github's "forking right" cope with an "All rights reserved" project?

I will start by offering the view that this question is off-topic. If code is sitting on github with no license, that means that it has no open source license. If there is no open source license, then we are simply discussing copyright law in general, not open source licensing in particular.

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    Questions about general copyright law are off-topic, but I'd argue that this question is about potential open sourcing through a TOS and therefore on-topic. – curiousdannii Jul 15 '15 at 21:44
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    @curiousdannii I'd argue your comment appears to be an answer to the question, and you should post it as one. – derobert Jul 15 '15 at 21:52
  • @derobert I'd argue you're right. – ArtOfCode Jul 15 '15 at 21:57
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    Related: meta.opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/14/… It's important to note: No clear consensus and solution was developed on that. – Zizouz212 Jul 16 '15 at 5:29
  • This is feeling like a repeat of the above mentioned post, and the outcome is looking very similar: No clear cut answer on this. – Zizouz212 Jul 16 '15 at 5:29
  • Maybe if you do get to some form of concensus, you could consider update the related help, which is, at minima, quite brief. – clem steredenn Jul 16 '15 at 9:15
  • @bilbo_pingouin We're only a couple days of having gone public, and we're waiting for mods to come (I believe the mods can do that). – Zizouz212 Jul 16 '15 at 14:11
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We've discussed general copyright questions before, and generally agreed that they're off-topic.

But that doesn't mean that every question must necessarily be about strictly FSF and OSI approved licensed projects. In fact it will often prove to be the questions which don't fit so easily into these boxes that are the most interesting, and for which this site will be most useful.

You can upload proprietary projects to Github, but the Terms of Service require you to allow other users a "right to fork". There's also the ability to clone etc. So questions about what the TOS means in terms of such a project's implied FLOSS status are a great fit for this site.

  • If the question had been worded: 'Do the github TOS amount to an open source license' I'd have liked it better. – bmargulies Jul 16 '15 at 16:24
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    @bmargulies That could be a good edit to suggest – curiousdannii Jul 16 '15 at 20:44
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This site is called "open source". We are talking about open source software. And… it would be off-topic?

There are many definitions of open source, and I agree that a software that allow you to look at the source but do nothing with that is a bit useless, but it's still open source nonetheless.

(this, and what @curiousdannii said – I take he'll post it as an answer)

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