Free software projects on GitHub and DMCA


In June 2017 the Gadgetbridge project had its GitHub presence shut down for a whole month because of a DMCA takedown notice made by a third-party developer. The project was eventually reinstated after the core developers a lawyer successfully submitted a DMCA counter-notice.
When creating an account on GitHub, developers accept “to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in the City and County of San Francisco, California.”
During this talk, we will discuss the real-world consequences of accepting this point of GitHub’s terms of service, as well as sharing with the audience the best practice we learned for interacting with GitHub copyright support team.
The talk will use Gadgetbridge as a real-world example but the focus will be on how developers can prevent such a situation from happening to their projects, and how to counteract if needed. Best practice and actionable suggestions will be illustrated for projects that are hosted on GitHub (or any other US-based provider).
Gadgetbridge (started in 2015) is an AGPLv3-licensed software that allows Android users to interact with several wearable devices (e.g. Pebble, Miband, Amazfit Bip) without using the vendor-provided closed source app and mandatory “cloud” services.