There's this question that I noticed got a close vote: Does the owner of the github repository own the copyright to the code?

Someone left a custom close reason:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it doesn't seem to be specifically about free/open source projects

Someone else countered it with a comment:

@user this is does not seem off topic to me. I guess the that question asker means that the license is a FLOSS license. Is this correct?

Why should this question be off-topic? Personally, I think it should be on-topic - it's a relevant question to users of open source, as they are dealing with a code hosting platform.

2 Answers 2


I was the one that though this discussion is not off topic. The rationale is that code ownership gives the owner the ability to grant the essential FLOSS permissions such as free (as in freedom) code re-use, modification, redistribution permissions, etc. are quite important for FLOSS!

Together with an open attitude and approach to development, I could say that it defines FLOSS and makes it different. Therefore this type of questions should be always considered in this forum IMHO.


Plain questions of law, where the licensing of a project are irrelevant, should not be on-topic here. They can be migrated to Law.SE instead.

The first paragraph is off topic for this reason. The second paragraph could perhaps be on-topic, but it's far too vague. (In fact it isn't clear how related it is to the first paragraph.) "A license" could be anything, not just a FLOSS license.

  • 1
    If you disagree then please provide some specific counter arguments. Commented May 28, 2016 at 5:42

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