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I have found a piece of code online (https://github.com/kenkendk/sharpaescrypt/blob/master/Source/SharpAESCrypt.cs) licensed under GNU LGPL v 2.1

If I would like to make some changes to this file and re-distribute it under the same license (GNU LGPL v 2.1) do I update the copyright date or owner name (in order to reflect the changes), or retain the original one?

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    For a github thing, you might make a pull request. Don't change the owner name but add your own name as contributor. YMMV. And don't change the license (e.g. to GPLv3+) without permission from the original author. But I am not a lawyer! – Basile Starynkevitch Oct 7 '15 at 11:00
  • @BasileStarynkevitch, your comment really deserves to be made into an answer. – John R. Strohm Oct 7 '15 at 16:56
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As I commented, for a github thing, you might make a pull request. Don't change the owner name but add your own name as contributor (and update the copyright years). YMMV. And don't change the license (e.g. to GPLv3+) without permission from the original author (unless you are sure that your license is upward compatible with his one, and even then you'll better discuss that with him). But I am not a lawyer!

The original author has then the ability to incorporate your changes, and the github platform offers an easy way to do that for him (or her) if he / she wants to, if your changes are organized as a pull request.

In general, you'll rather try to cooperate & interact with the original free software project authors and community. Forking a project is often frowned upon.

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