I posted code on Github with an Apache2 license but left the part "Copyright {yyyy} {name of copyright owner}" instead of adding the year and my name. Then I copied the code from Github and posted it on StackExchange w/o the license.

Which of the following statements is correct?

  1. The original license is invalid and the code is now governed by the creative commons license as specified by stack exchange.

  2. The original license is valid and posting the code on StackExchange without it was a violation of that license.

  3. The code is now governed by either the Creative commons license or Apache2 depending where you get it from.

  4. Other


1 Answer 1


Basically, statement 3 above is correct.

The owner of the copyright in a work may release that work unmder different, even incompatible, licenses, as many times as s/he chooses to do. None of these releases cancels or invalidates any other. A person who obtains a work from a site where it is listed under a particular license, may rely on that license grant. The owner may (if the site allows) modify the license or remove the posted work, but this does not invalidate the license granted to those who obtained the work before any modification or removal.

An incorrect or incomplete copyright notice does not, under current law. invalidate the copyright, and to the best of my understanding will not invalidate either of the license mentioen in the question.

  • Thanks for responding. This is in line with what I thought. I will mark this as the accepted answer in a few days presuming there are no contrary opinions provided.
    – kpie
    Mar 18, 2022 at 4:03

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