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From Alexei Kosut <ako...@leland.Stanford.EDU>
Subject Re: [PATCH] for copyright year update
Date Fri, 02 Jan 1998 21:01:02 GMT
On Wed, 31 Dec 1997, Gregory A Lundberg wrote:

> To bad I can't vote or you'd get a -1 until someone explains what work of
> significant authorship appeared in 1998.  Under US copyright law, adding a
> date to a copyright has no effect .. when you put more than one date on a
> copyright (cf M$'s DOS copyright message) only the oldest one (the one
> which expires first) is considered.  The main copyright, and the one
> appearing in the object file(s).. um, there is one in the binaries, isn't
> there .. should state the entire package is copyrighted making it clear a
> number of copyright dates apply.  The reader must be able to determine
> which (unique) date applies to a given piece of code, so each separate
> file then should have it's own copyright date which is only changed if a
> major re-write occurs.  It burns me to see programmers giving away
> copyrights just because they've seen others do it.

We've gone over this before. I'm not a lawyer, but I did go through the
US law on copyrights a few years back, and found it somewhat contradictory
when it comes to this sort of thing. I think we decided that each version
of Apache is somewhat akin to an "edition" of the software, so is
allowed to have a new copyright year.

But as you point out, the earlier dates determine copyright expiry of a
given file. Although it should be noted that, as per the Berne Convention
and current US law, it really doesn't matter what we put in our copyright
notice; it's all automatic, and the words are just there to remind
people reading it that the work is copyrighted.

But I could be wrong.

-- Alexei Kosut <> <>
   Stanford University, Class of 2001 * Apache <> *

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