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I wonder how the copyright status is of plugins or, more specific functions used in plugins. When authors refer to GNU General Public License version 3 ot later, I think it is clear that you can use everything freely.

However, other plugin authors put a line in the heading like:

 * Copyright 201? by xxxxxxxxx

What is the status then? Normally I would contact the author and ask permission to use some functions of his plugin, but they do not always answer to such requests. In the case I have now, the author has not been active on this forum for more than a year, so the question is whether he will ever answer.

So, what is advised in these kind of situations?

In those situations I would say, unfortunately, the safest route to take it to leave the plugin alone. If the author has not given specific instructions on how you should use their code you should just assume they don't want anyone to use it at all. If it is not provided with an open source licence, then it is reasonably safe to assume it is not open source.


PS: I'm no copyright lawyer