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From Paul Richards <>
Subject Re: Manual page and copyrights
Date Tue, 18 Feb 1997 20:16:59 GMT
Paul Sutton <> writes:

> I was under the implicit impression that any contributions made to the
> apache project automatically became copyright by The Apache Group. I'm a
> bit worried about these personal copyrights. For example, http_bprintf.c
> has presumably been modified since Ben Laurie made his copyrighted
> changes. But the existing copyright notice now appears to claim the
> copyright in these changes for Ben. 
> I would like to see an explicit statement that all code changes donated to
> the Apache project become copyright The Apache Group, and remove all
> personal copyright messages. In some cases, a joint copyright may be
> acceptable (in particular, mod_rewrite should reasonably remain copyright
> by Ralf and The Apache Group). This could be part of a coding style for
> Apache contributors. 

Why? I see no reason why "The Apache Group" should hold the copyright
on all code particularly since "The Apache Group" doesn't
exist. Personally I'd be *very* reluctant to hand over copyright on
anything I did. As long as the license allows us to do whatever we
want with it who holds the copyright doesn't matter. That's the
important issue, the Apache group will *always* be able to do whatever
they want with the code regardless of what the copyright holder
subsequently does.

The converse would not be true. If you hand over the copyright to the
Apache group then as the original author you are *not* allowed to
re-use that code except under the conditions granted by the Apache

Are you trying to stop people using code they wrote for some other
project? If not then what's the problem? If you are then what would be
your reasons for doing so?

This is particularly relevant if a group of people on this list
incorporate the project thus putting them legally in control of the

> Getting back to the httpd manual page, I still would like to submit my
> updates, but not to a document copyrighted by anyone other than The Apache
> Group. If necessary, I will rewrite this document from scratch to
> eliminate the personal copyright.

What possible purpose can there be for doing that?

  Paul Richards, Netcraft Ltd.
  Phone: 0370 462071 (Mobile), +44 1225 447500 (work)

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