I am actually modifying a package under the GPLv3 License which according to a page requires to:

Include a copy of the license and copyright notice with the code.

However such package/code don't have the license nor the copyright notice on each file. Can I modify significantly the code of such package?

  • 1
    In typical jurisdictions, the absence of a license means the user has no rights, the author has all rights. Them failing to apply a license "properly" only means that you're in a worse place. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:29
  • And "Include a copy of the license and copyright notice with the code" does not imply that each file must contain that information, as it says there must be a license and copyright notice in the package. Have you looked for a license.txt or copyright.txt file in the package?
    – Bent
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:32
  • @Bent Yes, there isn't a license, License, license.txt or copyright.txt or similar file.
    – llrs
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:38
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What is the “default” software license?
    – gnat
    Oct 25, 2016 at 14:09
  • 1
    Contact the author and ask them to correct this.
    – user82096
    Oct 25, 2016 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


If you know that the code is GPLv3, then you should also know that you are not allowed to file the serial numbers off of it and slap your own copyright and license on it.

If the original code is GPLv3, your modified version of that code must also be GPLv3.

If you're so inclined, you can contact the copyright holder of the code and ask them to remedy the deficiencies you have noted by adding the necessary copyright statements and license files.

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