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Re: Maintaining copyright notices

From: Torsten Lilge
Subject: Re: Maintaining copyright notices
Date: Sat, 04 Jan 2020 09:18:11 +0100

On Fri, 2020-01-03 at 19:10 -0500, John W. Eaton wrote:
> ...
> To minimize the difficulty of maintaining the copyright notices, I
> would 
> like to change Octave's sources to use what is described here
> https://softwarefreedom.org/resources/2012/ManagingCopyrightInformation.html
> in the section "Maintaining centralized copyright notices":
> ...
>    This approach captures less information about contributions
>    within individual files, recognizing that the DVCS is better
>    equipped to record those details. As we mentioned before, it
>    does have one disadvantage as compared to the file-scope
>    approach: if a single file is separated from the distribution,
>    the recipient won’t see the contributors’ copyright notices.
>    But this can be easily remedied by including a single
>    copyright notice in each file’s header, pointing to the
>    top-level file:
>      Copyright YYYY-YYYY The Octave Project Developers
>      See the COPYRIGHT file at the top-level directory
>      of this distribution or at https://octave.org/COPYRIGHT.html.
> followed by the usual GPL copyright statement.

This would definitely be better than the current approach.

> ...
> Should the COPYRIGHT file include email addresses with the
> names?  For 
> now, I have them as <...> in the attached copy but the original
> version 
> that I created includes the full addresses.

E-Mail addresses might change over time. Therefore I would like to vote
for not including them.

> Additionally, I think it is time to drop the "Author:", "Created:", 
> "Adapted-by:" and similar lines that appear in some source files
> since 
> that information is incomplete, tends to become inaccurate over time, 
> and is duplicated in the version control system (where it is also
> most 
> likely to be correct).

A separate note on the origninal author should only be added (or left)
if the initial code was not written by the Octave developers but was
taken from another project under GPL and adapted for the use in Octave.


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