[gst-devel] Copyright headers need updating

Benjamin Otte in7y118 at public.uni-hamburg.de
Tue Jan 24 03:36:07 CET 2006

On Tue, 24 Jan 2006, Andy Wingo wrote:

> Hi Erik,
> On Mon, 2006-01-23 at 12:56 -0800, Erik Walthinsen wrote:
> > I've been noticing a lot of files in CVS still list a copyright year of
> > 1999 with my ancient OGI email address.  I'm thinking that should
> > probably be updated.... ;-)
> The funny thing is when people make a new file they just copy over
> everything from some other one to get boilerplate ;)
I think it's a good idea to include the copyright holder and author
including their email addresses in the header. This is useful when I want
to contact the person that wrote the code. I wouldn't put relevant things
in an authors or ChangeLog file either, because when I copy files, I don't
copy changelogs, but I do copy headers.

It would certainly help though if people put their name at the top of a
file when they newly create one and not just copy some boilerplate.
And it would be useful if people add themselves at the top if they do
nontrivial changes.

> I think it's a bad idea to say "the GStreamer team" without defining
> what that is. One might imagine a situation in which some organization
> takes control of GStreamer, a few years in the future, and then decides
> that as the GStreamer team that they would like to relicense. Explicit
> acknowledgement that the code is copyrighted by individuals helps
> protect our freedom.
Agreed here. I think it might be a good idea to say "the GStreamer team"
when we efer to the complete product, as in "the GStreamer team released a
new version", but when talking about copyrights of individual subsets, I'd
like the names there.

Something similar that struck me again recently: When does one need to
update the year in the header? Does a simple 2 line bugfix require that I
change "(c) 2005" to "(c) 2005,2006"?


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