On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 6:38 AM, Jeremy Stanley <fu...@yuggoth.org> wrote:

> On 2013-10-20 20:57:56 +0800 (+0800), Thomas Goirand wrote:
> > Well, good luck finding all the copyright holders for such a large and
> > old project. It's not really practical in this case, unfortunately.
> To a great extent, the same goes for projects a quarter the size and
> age of the Linux kernel--doesn't mean we shouldn't try to fix that
> though. In our case, we at least have names and (possibly stale)
> contact information for all the people who claim to have authored
> contributions, so I suspect we're in a somewhat better position to
> do something about it.

Although we may be in a better position to find all the copyright owners,
it appears that many projects skirt the issue by making the copyright owner
an open ended group:


don't think one person actually owns the copyright on rails)

> Part of the issue is that historically the project has held a
> laissez faire position that claiming copyright on contributions is
> voluntary, and that if you don't feel your modifications to a
> particular file are worthy of copyright (due to triviality or
> whatever) then there was no need to update a copyright statement for
> new holders or years. So the assumption there was that copyrights
> which an author wanted to assert were claimed in the files they
> touched, and if they didn't update the copyright statement on a
> change that was their prerogative.
> I think we collectively know that this isn't really how copyright
> works in most Berne Convention countries, but I also don't think
> reviewers would object to any copyright holder adding a separate
> commit to update valid copyright claims on a particular file which
> they previously neglected to document.
> --
> Jeremy Stanley
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