[openstack-dev] [all] Proposal: copyright-holders file in each project, or copyright holding forced to the OpenStack Foundation

Jan Klare j.klare at cloudbau.de
Fri Jan 15 13:02:59 UTC 2016

Hi Thomas,

good thoughts for a very important topic. I am currently refactoring a lot of code inside of the openstack-chef cookbooks and constantly have to ask myself, if i now have to add any copyright thingy to any file or am even allowed to delete the original copyright in a file after changing 100% of the code in it. I do not want to remove any copyright here, but i think this distribution of copyrights is very annoying and leads to the issues you mentioned below. In my opinion (although i agree, that 1) would be the best option but might be impossible since you would have to ask all companies, or find the persons responsible or allowed to remove these copyrights), we should move all the copyrights from all files to one central file per repo. The big question for me is, if we are allowed to do so and finally remove the copyrights from the files they are currently in.


> On 15 Jan 2016, at 13:48, Thomas Goirand <zigo at debian.org> wrote:
> This isn't the first time I'm calling for it. Let's hope this time, I'll
> be heard.
> Randomly, contributors put their company names into source code. When
> they do, then effectively, this tells that a given source file copyright
> holder is whatever is claimed, even though someone from another company
> may have patched it.
> As a result, we have a huge mess. It's impossible for me, as a package
> maintainer, to accurately set the copyright holder names in the
> debian/copyright file, which is a required by the Debian FTP masters.
> I see 2 ways forward:
> 1/ Require everyone to give-up copyright holding, and give it to the
> OpenStack Foundation.
> 2/ Maintain a copyright-holder file in each project.
> The later is needed if we want to do things correctly. Leaving the
> possibility for everyone to just write (c) MyCompany LLC randomly in the
> source code doesn't cut it. Expecting that a package maintainer should
> double-guess copyright holding just by reading the email addresses of
> "git log" output doesn't work either.
> Please remember that a copyright holder has nothing to do with the
> license, neither with the author of some code. So please do *not* take
> over this thread, and discuss authorship or licensing.
> Whatever we choose, I think we should ban having copyright holding text
> within our source code. While licensing is a good idea, as it is
> accurate, the copyright holding information isn't and it's just missleading.
> If I was the only person to choose, I'd say let's go for 1/, but
> probably managers of every company wont agree.
> Some thoughts anyone?
> Cheers,
> Thomas Goirand (zigo)
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