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

Clint Byrum clint at fewbar.com
Sun Jan 17 18:23:45 UTC 2016

Excerpts from Thomas Goirand's message of 2016-01-16 22:36:23 -0800:
> On 01/16/2016 10:16 PM, Jeremy Stanley wrote:
> > On 2016-01-16 12:14:20 +0800 (+0800), Thomas Goirand wrote:
> > [...]
> >> I've just asked this very point with the same example to the FTP
> >> masters. Let's see what they say...
> > 
> > Please point them to the archive for this thread. Specifically it
> > would be helpful for them to give _you_ feedback on your attempts to
> > switch or remove a large free software project's declared
> > contributor copyrights for your own packaging convenience. I
> > particularly find it galling that you suggest we should switch from
> > contributor-held copyright to a copyright assignment model because
> > it would make your life as a package maintainer easier.
> It isn't at all how I wrote things.
> What I wrote is that I feel like the currently situation makes it very
> blurry for one to tell who is the copyright holder(s). I'm seeking a way
> to fix this. It looks like its another failed attempt, as some
> (including you) are opposed to do any of the things I proposed, and
> nobody has a better solution (and I don't see how writing to the legal
> list will change anything). I suppose I can only give-up.

Sorry that this process has you down. I know that I personally have gone
through the exercise of attempting to document the copyright holders
of some very large projects, one of those being MySQL. It is futile and
pointless as long as the original license grant has been verified, and no
evidence of a relicense by all copyright holders is known to exist. Do
you reach out to all of these copyright holders and ask for any such
evidence? No. That would be a massive burden and nobody actually cares. So
why do we have to even know who these people or organizations are?

The point of doing this for Debian is to make sure Debian users can use
the software in the archive confident in their freedoms. That some FTP
masters are sticklers that each file have at least one copyright holder
known is a quirk of Debian, and I think should be addressed directly
in Debian, _not_ here, where we know we're producing and distributing
free software.

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