Question Regarding DMCA of forks by original author

Hello, I’ve got a somewhat short question that might have a complex answer.

In short, I was looking around the official github guidelines regarding DMCAs on forks by the original repository author, and couldn’t find anything. Essentially, my question boils down to this:

If the original author of a repository deletes their public repository, do they have any legal standing to therefore DMCA forks of that original repository even though the original is no longer listed as the parent (since it was deleted)?

Copyright doesn’t go away only because the repository was removed from GitHub by the original author. Copyright enters the scene whenever an author creates a work, and it stays until it expires (which is a long time indeed, and only happens is its author never renews it, e.g. never updates the code).

Having said that, all GitHub users have agreed to the GH EULA and rules, which states that users are free to fork repositories publicly available on GitHub. So the original author has agreed to that, regardless of the copyright status of his/her work.

Being able to fork a repository is one thing, editing it is another — because changes imply derivative work, and whether derivate works are allowed depends on the license under which the original work was release (lacking a license, always assume proprietary and full copyrighted).

When in doubt, always contact the original author and/or Copyright holder(s).