Is there an open source license that requires that my name (or a name that I want to promote) will always be associated with a project and derivations of it? (Either within the copyright notice (©) or other.)

- My main motivation is reputation/career advancement. If it gained wide use, it could look very good on resume (I understand this is a long shot).
- An additional benefit is that it would explicitly state to prospective employers that this code was used by myself before I started with the company and will continue to be used when I leave.

It is my understanding:
I am aware that 99.9% of open-source projects never take off, and that I am taking a long shot in regard to advancing reputation/career. I understand that many don't read/respect licenses. I understand that open source projects take a lot of time to manage. I understand that 'Concensus-Based Development' is the best chance at motivating a community and that I may/will loose substantial control.

closed as not constructive by Walter, yannis Mar 8 '12 at 11:48

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  • 2
    Who said that 99.9% of the projects do not take off? Define "do not take off". – Job Mar 14 '11 at 0:18

Pretty much all licenses require this. Even the very permissive BSD license says:

Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, 
this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

...where the copyright notice would be your name and the year.

So yes, it's relatively easy to point to a piece of software and figure out who wrote it, or at least who owns the original copyright (normally the author but sometimes a company).


Regarding your work on the software before, during, and after working for some employer, you are better off making that agreement up front. Notify them that you work on this software, that (I assume) it has no overlap with what they do, and then get them to sign a disclaimer acknowledging that they disclaim all interest in the software. It's only a tiny bit of work up front, but could be worth it's weight in gold.

Update 2:

Regarding how it works socially, there is actually a bible of open source development (or close enough anyway). I suggest you read chaper 4: Social and Political Structure.

  • Thank you very much. That is what I guessed from, 'retain the above of copyright notice'; I just wasn't sure. Regarding how the community gets involved, what is typical ways for them to earn reputation... I guess from contacts they make and putting their names on patches??? – Roger J. J. Mar 14 '11 at 0:29

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