Opened 17 years ago

Closed 17 years ago

#185 closed enhancement (fixed)

make copyright statement uniform

Reported by: Peter Owned by: Peter
Priority: major Milestone: yat 0.3 (Public release)
Component: documentation Version: trunk
Keywords: Cc:


The copyright statement should be same in every file.

Should we state which developers have contributed to the file or should we use the more neutral "The authors contributing to this file"

Should we state the years, if so in what format? Copyright (C) 2003-2006 or Copyright (C) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006? The latter is the one recommended by GNU.

Also, remember that it is trivial to retrieve years and authors. Svndigest has the hidden functionality to output copyright information to a separate output file.

Change History (7)

comment:1 Changed 17 years ago by Peter

Status: newassigned

I think we should have Copyright statement like this:

 Copyright (C) 2003, 2005, 2006 Jari Häkkinen, Peter Johansson, 
 and Markus Ringnér

where authors and years are included in list if file has been changed that year by that author.

This means we do not distinguish different years for different authors like

 Copyright (C) 2003, 2005, 2006 Jari Häkkinen
 Copyright (C) 2003, 2006 Peter Johansson
 Copyright (C) 2006 Markus Ringnér


 Copyright (C) 2003 Jari Häkkinen, Peter Johansson
 Copyright (C) 2005 Jari Häkkinen
 Copyright (C) 2006 Jari Häkkinen, Peter Johansson, Markus Ringnér

What is a change?

In my opinion a change is a modification of either dox or code, in other words, adding an empty line does not give you copyright. Also if someone delete your code does not make you lose your copyright.

I will start working on this issue in short. If I hear no feedback from you before March 7th, I will assume you agree with this suggestion.

comment:2 Changed 17 years ago by Jari Häkkinen

Obviously I prefer to distinguish years and authors. Also I think that deletion of lines may lead to loss of copyright. For me the copyright statement sets the ownership of code lines in the checkout revision of a file. I agree, adding whitespace characters only should give copyright status. Of course, if we claim our code to be a work of art then maybe the indentation and look of the code should be copyrighted.

Anyway, I can live with Peters ideas, but then we must not forget Daniel in the list of authors.

comment:3 Changed 17 years ago by Peter

Ok, if we are gonna distinguish years and authors, please specify in what format (see above for examples).

As diff (or diff3) works on lines (and not characters) it is not possible to accomplish what Jari suggests in previous comment. For example if I have added a line

void do_it(void);

a some else change it to

  void do_it(void);


  void do_it(bool) const;

or even more extreme

  bool delete_everything(const vector<Animal*>);

should I then be the owner of the line (and hold copyright)? As we use diff (or diff3) and diff works on line, we cannot separate these cases above.

I can accept that we define copyright something like this:

A developer has copyright of a file if he is holder of at least one line in the file that is either code or doc (see parsing in svndigest). This means empty lines give you no copyright, and if it's possible I would like to exclude lines stating copyright as well. To be consistent, we define copyright years in the same way by looking at when the line was last modified (svn praise).

List of Authors should of course consist of everyone who has copyright of at least one file.

comment:5 Changed 17 years ago by Peter

Ok. If there is no quick protests I will make copyright statements as below

  Copyright (C) 2003, 2005, 2006 Authors contributing to this file.

where the list of years are taken from svn log filename.

Possibly we could define in COPYRIGHT or AUTHORS what we mean by 'contributing'.

comment:6 Changed 17 years ago by Peter

(In [831]) Refs #185.

comment:7 Changed 17 years ago by Peter

Resolution: fixed
Status: assignedclosed
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