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

Daniel P. Berrange berrange at redhat.com
Fri Jan 15 15:38:08 UTC 2016

On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 08:48:21PM +0800, Thomas Goirand 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 don't think OpenStack is in a different situation to the vast
majority of open source projects I've worked with or seen. Except
for those projects requiring copyright assignment to a single
entity, it is normal for source files to contain an unreliable
random splattering of Copyright notices. This hasn't seemed to
create a blocking problem for their maintenance in Debian. Loooking
at the debian/copyright files I see most of them have just done a
grep for the 'Copyright' statements & included as is - IOW just
ignored the fact that this is essentially worthless info and included
it regardless.

> 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.

3/ Do nothing, just populate debian/copyright with the random
   set of 'Copyright' lines that happen to be the source files,
   as appears to be common practice across many debian packages

   eg the kernel package


    "Copyright: 1991-2012 Linus Torvalds and many others"

   if its good enough for the Debian kernel package, it should be
   good enough for openstack packages too IMHO.

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