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What happened after a developer intentionally corrupted two of their libraries which collectively had more than 20 million weekly downloads and thousands of dependent projects?

Mike Melanson’s “This Week in Programming” column reports:

In response to the corrupted libraries, Microsoft quickly suspended his GitHub access and reverted the projects on npm…. While this might seem like an open and shut case to some — the developer committed malicious code and GitHub and npm did what it had to do to protect its users — a debate broke out around a developer’s rights to do what they wish with their code, no matter how many projects and dependencies it may have.

“GitHub suspending someone’s account for modifying their own code in a project they own however they want spooks me a lot more than NPM reverting a package,” [tweeted one company’s Director of Engineering & Technology]. “I kind of love what Marak did to make a point and protest to be honest.”

An article on iProgrammer further outlines the dilemma present in what might otherwise seem like a clear-cut case…. “Yes, it is open source in that you can fork it and can contribute to it but does this mean that GitHub is justified in denying you the right to change or even destroy your own code?”

As of last night, however, it would appear that the entire affair is merely one for intellectual debate, as GitHub has indeed lived up to what some might view as its end of the bargain: the developer’s account is active, he has been allowed to remove his faker.js library on GitHub (depended upon as it might be), and has since offered an update that he does “not have Donkey Brains”.


Read more of this story at Slashdot.