Copyright Infringement Detection

Does GitHub scan code documents for copyright infringement in the GitHub website? The following is a specific example: A user writes copyright infringing software, and makes it appear to be lawful with a fake license, and then uploads that software to the website. At a later date, a different user copies that copyright infringing software in the website to his or her repository in the website. Can GitHub detect copyright infringement in either of those copies of the software?

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Hey there @george4580,

Right now, GitHub doesn’t scan any content hosted on its platform (excluding opt-in dependancy vunerability checking for private repositories, and opt-out dependancy vulerability checking for public repositories), and GitHub has noted that they don’t support a proposal by the EU for screening content (and they’ve said it quite publicly).

Of course, though, I’d imagine that GitHub strongly believes in protecting the rights of rights holders.

As with everything legal, you should always consult with a proffessional before doing anything. If you believe that there has been a copyright infringment on a GitHub platform, I suggest that you check out GitHub’s DMCA page.


@timrossback, that is a very interesting blog post. If the detection software would be a product of thorough testing, false positives probably would be minimal. Many false positives seems to be the worst possible outcome because it would stifle code development. In regard to privacy, the scanning of a file upload is not real surveillance because it is not monitoring a person. A "detector machine instead of a “censorship machine” would be doing the scanning, and it would not occur in real time. I support a detection program for copyright infringement in GitHub.

To respond to your advice, @timrossback, you do not consider the privacy of a person who might view the copyright infringement. The DMCA page in the GitHub website will not assist a bystander during copyright infringement. I digress though; I don’t want a non-relative discussion to degrade the conversation about infringement detection.

Hey again @george4580,

All l can really say is that licensing is a  very complex process, and from my point of view, impossible to accurately, fairly and justly monitor automatically. Regardless, I do agree with GitHub’s standpoint that it’s a “censorship machine”; if you’re creating a private repository, you expect it to be private. What if they recieved rights to use the code off-platform (like through email, or a one-on-one conversation)?

I’m afraid I also don’t understand what you mean by “the privacy of a person who might view the copyright infringement”, then your referrence to a bystander. Under the DMCA, only legal representatives can act: lawyers and owners, mostly. 

Anyways, if you support Article 13, I’d suggest you advocate for it to let the EU know that it’s something you’d like to see; GitHub (rightfully) won’t implement this if they are not legally bound to.

Well as we all know my first plans is delete vulnerability in every area where it lacks. I see the plans to secure/merge the open source in to one closed source to protect from spy man. Here I see I am gravitating towards why things are how they are. So for a short endgame plan is to make my unwanted contributions be suitable for the cooperation of the Corporation.