How to properly credit original code author?

I'm working on a driver for a special sensor. Toward that end I've based my driver on another author's code.

How do I properly credit the original author?

  1. I assume as a minimum, in the beginning I state something like ...... based on "someprogram.groovy" by "original author"

  2. How do I handle the definition? The file name has changed, but the namespace and author should be ______?


Best case is to PM the author directly and ask them how they prefer you handle the use of their code. At least that's how I normally handle it.

  • First, look at the top of the file (driver, app) and see if the author has provided any instructions for use of code. Sometimes, they will be VERY SPECIFIC as to how to reference the original developer in the code. They may even tell you DO NOT - and you should not.
  • Second, contact the author and ask permission (as stephack states above). Nominate a statement to include, such as "This code is based on the previous code of David Gutheinz in the TP-Link Hubitat Integration". He may say OK, no, or I do not need to be cited.
  • Third, if you can't contact the author, include a statement just out of courtesy.
  • Last: Namespace should be YOUR namespace.
  • Final: Some are very sensitive to others modifying their code. It may be their living!. You should contact them BEFORE you start modifying for your purpose.
1 Like

Thats a good point..

For me, I would say
1: Yes, that is good enough for me. (although if you asked I would say just leave me out of it :slight_smile: )
2: you should use your own name for the author and whatever you typically use for a namespace.

Also read through the license to see if you need to include the original license or if you can change it (if that is what you want to do).


Thank you all for your insight. I think I now know how to handle this.


It greatly depends on the license attributed to the author's work at the time of release. I know there are some individuals within these forums that don't seem to understand the licensing they themselves have placed on their work and tend to be more protective than the law revolving around that license.

Aside from the spirit of sharing in a community like this, additionally, if you're posting work to these forums, that is Public Domain, you should not be expecting to retain copyright unless explicitly stated. You have at least posted a right to copy, modify and distribute. No court of law would uphold otherwise.

Unfortunately there are a few developers in every community that want to withhold all rights to the code they post and generally will be pretty obtuse on the actual legality.

To avoid disputes and as common courtesy, I recommend you contact the author directly. But know, no matter their response, you're not beholden to their wishes rather to the letter of the copyright they applied to the code when released so long as you can prove that was the case.