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From "Roy T. Fielding" <>
Subject Re: Copyrights
Date Tue, 13 Jan 2004 01:11:32 GMT
On Saturday, January 3, 2004, at 11:10  AM, William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
> At 06:32 AM 1/2/2004, you wrote:
>> wrote:
>>>  update license to 2004.
>> Why? Unless the file changes in 2004, the copyright doesn't. And, in 
>> any case, the earliest date applies, so it gets us nowhere.
> In fairness this has been Roy's practice, so let's not beat on Andre.
> Roy's logic is that this is a single work.  If someone obtains a new
> tarball in 2004, all of the
> files will be marked with 2004, as some changes will have 
> (undoubtedly) been
> made.  Old tarballs of the combined work retain their old copyright 
> dates.

That logic seems a bit odd to me -- we only need to change the date in
the LICENSE file for it to apply to the collection as a whole.

The reason the copyright was being updated by me within all of the
source code files was because I have traditionally been the person who
can write a perl script that can do the update without also changing
a million other things.  The logic behind doing the update had nothing
to do with copyright law -- folks were just tired of the inconsistency
and hassle of remembering to do it when a file is significantly updated.

BTW, the real rule is that the date must include the year that the
expression was originally authored and each year thereafter in which
the expression contains an original derivative work that is separately
applicable to copyright.  Since that distinction is almost impossible
to determine in practice, software folks tend to use a date range that
begins when the file was created and ends in the latest year of
publication.  And, since we are open source, that means 2004.

The main reason for doing so has more to do with ending silly questions
about whether or not to update the year than it does with copyright law,
which for the most part doesn't care.  Also, it cuts down on irrelevant
change clutter from appearing in cvs commit messages for later review
and makes it easier to make global changes to the license itself.


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