Is it possible to buy the authorship of a piece of software just to be able to remove the credits from its source ccode?

Would that be ok if the author of the library agrees to do so for a price?

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    If the author of the library is the copyright holder, you can make whatever arrangements with him that you wish, and that you can both agree to. Commented May 24, 2016 at 16:47
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    It's call multi-licensing, or sometimes dual-licensing. For example, the copyright holder(s) can have a different, and even custom one-off, license for one purpose and standard (open source) license for other purposes. All the copyright holders have to be in agreement, though, I'm pretty sure, which includes those of any (other) open-source that might be built upon. (One copyright holder can't legitimately violate another's rights without their permission.)
    – Erik Eidt
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 20:49
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    But ... what if the library depends on GPL'd code from another author? Maybe the original library has its license removed, but what it depends on is unaffected by your transaction. Commented May 24, 2016 at 22:04
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    Excuse me, but why on Earth would you do that? It is the MIT license. It only requires the copyright notice in the source code, and it should be useful even to you to still remember where (and who) the code comes from. The binaries (and I think minified JS would count as binaries too) does not need any notices under MIT license.
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 8:26
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    @JanHudec I guess many remove it by mistake anyways. As some minifiers or combiners remove some kind of comments by default. In any case, it is not me the one who wants to remove the credits, but someone who wants to remove my credits.
    – Alvaro
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 9:36

2 Answers 2


You don't need to buy the complete copyright. You just need to ask the author to license it to you under different conditions which do not require an attribution.

But keep in mind that in order to do that, the author needs to actually own the complete copyright. That means when they used any code from 3rd parties, these parties must also agree to it (when they haven't waived those rights through a contributors agreement).

  • You are saying that the 3rd parties have to agree only when you make a special license? What's the difference between that and regular licenses? I've never seen people get explicit permission from the authors of coding-works to use it in their library, but most talk about how it can be used in the license. Not sure what you meant by "contributors agreement" though.
    – XaolingBao
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 21:37
  • @Lasagna Because the 3rd party contributors provided their contributions under MIT or a compatible license. The maintainer of the library can not release their work under a different license, unless they get their permission. A contributor agreement can include such a permission in advance.
    – Philipp
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 22:11

You could simply buy the copyright from the authors. At that point, it's your software and you can do what you like with it. You could even stop distributing it under the MIT license, though you couldn't recall any copies already distributed.

Or you could negotiate a different license with the authors. It's then between you and them to agree on whatever licence you both agree to. This would be a form of dual-licensing.

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