As I was working through the Close Votes Review Queue, I came upon a question beginning like this:
I just cloned (Github clone, not literal clone) someone's Tic-Tac-Toe game and I was originally going to make a pull request, but I ended up making too many changes, the code is simply unrecognizable now.
The reason this question came up in this queue was that somebody had flagged it with Off-topic - Authorship of Code, for which I felt I was unable to correctly decide whether it was appropriate or not. On the one hand, the original code is certainly not the product of the asker's own creativity. On the other hand, he does argue that he made so many changes that the code became something different from the original authors creation, and was asking mostly about code style issues, which constitutes a standard review point.
As a quick reminder, here is the close reason description as it comes up in the Close > Off-topic dialog box:
Authorship of code: Since Code Review is a community where programmers improve their skills through peer review, we require that the code be posted by an author or maintainer of the code, that the code be embedded directly, and that the poster know why the code is written the way it is.
How should we deal with this problem of "whose code is this"? Where do we draw the line between acceptable for review and off-topic?