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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: tools to fix Apache License headers
Date Fri, 11 Feb 2005 23:44:44 GMT
The copyright act specifies the form of a copyright notice:

401. Notice of copyright: Visually perceptible copies
(b)  Form of Notice.- If a notice appears on the copies, it shall consist of
the following three elements:
(1) the symbol (c) (the letter C in a circle), or the word “Copyright”, or
the abbreviation “Copr.”; and
(2) the year of first publication of the work; in the case of compilations,
or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year
date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is
sufficient. The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or
sculptural work, with accompanying text matter, if any, is reproduced in or
on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any
useful articles; and
(3) the name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by
which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative
designation of the owner.

The law requires "the name of the owner of copyright in the work...." It
does not authorize the phrase "or its licensors, as applicable." That phrase
does not allow anyone to determine, for example, when the copyright in the
work will expire, because it doesn't make it clear whether the author is a
person or an organization.

If the Apache work is a compilation or derivative work of earlier
contributions, it would be sufficient to say:

     Copyright 2005 Apache Software Foundation.


Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  ●  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of “Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom
               and Intellectual Property Law” (Prentice Hall 2004)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Crossley [mailto:crossley@apache.org]
> Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 3:31 PM
> To: Lawrence Rosen
> Cc: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: Re: tools to fix Apache License headers
> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> > David Crossley wrote:
> > > It changes
> > >  Copyright YYYY-YYYY The Apache Software Foundation
> > > to
> > >  Copyright YYYY-YYYY The Apache Software Foundation or its licensors,
> > >  as applicable
> >
> > I'm sorry if I missed this in an earlier email, but this isn't a valid
> > copyright notice.
> Would you elaborate please Larry. The discussion that led
> to this change was on another list. Here is an example of
> the full context of a license header in an Apache source file:
> http://svn.apache.org/viewcvs.cgi/forrest/trunk/bin/forrest?view=markup
> --David

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