Suppose I were to modify a said piece of code and put it back on github, would I have to update the license header.

This is the code(Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0): https://github.com/MasterAwesome/android_device_oneplus_onyx/commits/master/liblight/lights.c

The commit "Use liblights-caf" is from Google's repository. Now the next few commits I have made is to modify the source code for my device. Should I add my copyright notice in the header too?

1 Answer 1


Updating the copyright header is a per-project type decision.

On larger projects, they copyright is typically updated only at major or minor release updates and not with every single commit to the codebase. However, copyright on large projects is typically assigned to a single entity and there is controlled access to the code repository. So in some cases, the answer is "No, don't update the copyright header."

On smaller projects, individual contribution is tracked through updates to the copyright header. Based upon the patterns shown in the project you linked, it appears that the standard for that project is to update with each commit. So yes, you should update the copyright header for that particular project.

Ultimately, the answer is to check on the project and see what others are doing.

  • Copyright (C) 2015 Name<email> beneath the other copyright holders right? Do I also do this to other files I've contributed to? Jan 2, 2016 at 15:36
  • @QuestionEverything - that would appear to be the pattern that is being used on that project, yes. It's not unusual to find inconsistencies per-project, but I suspect that pattern will hold for the entire project
    – user53019
    Jan 2, 2016 at 15:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.