Skip to content
GitHub Policy

Fighting for developers

As the home for all developers, GitHub is committed to shaping policies that promote their interests and the future of software. We work on policy in its many forms—laws, regulations, norms, and standard practices—to fight for developers when it matters most.

See our impact


Developers constantly solve new problems and build on previous solutions. Being a developer requires the freedom to experiment, learn, and share.


Software development is a global exercise in teamwork. In order to innovate, build, and keep the world’s software secure, developers must be able to work together.

Equal Opportunity

Software development thrives in an open and inclusive environment. When everyone has equal access and opportunity to contribute, we all benefit.

How we make an impact

Protecting open source from EU copyright law

When the EU began working on the Copyright Directive in 2016, software developers weren’t on policymakers’ minds. Drafts effectively required upload filters that would have wreaked havoc on online software collaboration. We worked to mobilize developers and convey their concerns to members of parliament, and together we succeeded: The final text included an exemption for “open source software developing and sharing platforms.”

Learn more

Advancing developer freedom and access in Iran

No matter where developers may live, we’re committed to keeping as much of GitHub available to as many developers as possible. As part of this commitment to support software development everywhere, we make the case to governments for licenses and changes to the law. Starting in 2019, we worked with the US government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to obtain a license to fully serve developers in Iran. Building on this success, we’re pursuing similar efforts to be able to fully serve developers in Crimea and Syria, and are also advocating for changes to the law so that all developers can have access — whether they use GitHub or other collaboration tools.

Learn more

Establishing the Developer Defense Fund

Section 1201 of the US DMCA can pose challenges to developers. Each year, GitHub receives a small number of 1201 takedown claims, contending that developers are hosting code that illegally circumvents a technological protection measure. To help, GitHub has committed $1 million to establish a Developer Defense Fund and sponsored the GitHub Developer Rights Fellowship at Stanford Law School’s Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic.

Learn more

Areas where we advocate

Platform responsibility

Protecting developers’ ability to collaborate by providing a safe and inclusive space that transparently respects rights to free expression, assembly, and association.


Advocating for copyright, patent, and employment rules that foster exploration, collaboration, and the freedom to tinker on side projects.

Open source

Encouraging governments to use open source as a tool of public policy, to work proactively with open source contributors, and to support open source software in legislation and regulation.

Global collaboration

Supporting developers to work with anyone, anywhere, so they can build secure and useful software that benefits their local communities.


Breaking down barriers so anyone can become a developer and we can build a developer community that reflects our global diversity.

GitHub is leading the way for developers’ rights worldwide. Our Policy team uses its voice to advocate for the developer community and shape policies that impact the software ecosystem as a whole.

Mike Linksvayer //
Head of Developer Policy