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Interchange Development Group
Copyright notice policy
draft as of 2003-06-05
In the beginning there was Vend, written by Andrew M. Wilcox in 1995,
and licensed under the GNU General Public License. From this Mike Heins
wrote Minivend, starting in 1996. Mike was the main developer and thus
the copyright holder for Minivend through 2000, when he sold the software
ownership to Akopia in 2000, where it was renamed to Interchange. Akopia
sold ownership to Red Hat in 2001. Development continued primarily by
Red Hat until 2002, and ownership of code written until that time remains
with Red Hat.
Thus, all older code should retain this notice:
Copyright (C) 1996-2002 Red Hat, Inc.
The few files that still contain original Vend code should have this
additional notice:
Copyright (C) 1995 Andrew M. Wilcox
Probably that only applies to scripts/interchange.PL, lib/Vend/,
and lib/Vend/, though Andrew's copyright is mentioned in
numerous other lib/Vend modules and certainly isn't hurting anything.
I believe all the documentation originates from Mike Heins directly, and
thus is owned primarily by Red Hat.
To the best of our knowledge, none of the code was licensed at any time
under any license other than the GNU General Public License, version 2
or later.
Since the fall of 2002, Red Hat has not been in any way involved in
Interchange development, so no year later than 2002 should be assigned
to them in the copyright notice.
Anything that's been worked on since then, which is pretty much every
single file in CVS, should have both an historical Red Hat copyright
notice as well as an Interchange Development Group notice, the latter
listed first since it's the most recent, and with its year range
expanding as time goes on. For example:
Copyright (C) 2003 Interchange Development Group
Copyright (C) 1996-2002 Red Hat, Inc.
The exact legal import of this notice is unclear, since the group isn't
a legal entity. But under common law we should be recognized as a group
acting as one in such matters. I think our case will be helped somewhat
by keeping a current list of our group members on the
website. So I'd say "Interchange Development Group" is an alias for
"all the individuals listed on the group membership page", at least
until something else is decided on.
Any brand new development that doesn't derive from the Mike Heins/
Akopia/Red Hat days can just have an Interchange Development Group
and/or personal notice:
Copyright (C) 2003 Interchange Development Group
I do not plan to put my own name in as a copyright holder, but if you
wanted to, you could add yours like this:
Copyright (C) 2003 Interchange Development Group
Copyright (C) 2003 Freddy Frankenstein
Does it matter if individual developers put *only* their own names?
Probably not, if it's GPL-licensed, and we seem to have arrived on an
unwritten policy that everything in the CVS repository
must be under a free software license such as the GPL.
drafted by:
Jon Jensen
agreed to in principle by:
Dan Browning
Kevin Walsh
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