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

Dolph Mathews dolph.mathews at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 13:31:09 UTC 2016

This is a topic for legal-discuss, not -dev.


On Friday, January 15, 2016, 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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