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

Monty Taylor mordred at inaugust.com
Fri Jan 15 16:01:16 UTC 2016

On 01/15/2016 10:38 AM, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> 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.

Agree. debian/copyright should be a best effort - but it can only be as 
good as the input data available to the packager. Try getting an 
accurate debian/copyright file for the MySQL source tree at some point. 
(and good luck)

>> 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
>      http://metadata.ftp-master.debian.org/changelogs/main/l/linux/linux_3.16.7-ckt11-1+deb8u3_copyright
>      "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.

I vote for 3

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