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From "Henri Yandell (Commented) (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-124) Are license headers really mandatory in every source file?
Date Sat, 11 Feb 2012 02:52:59 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-124?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13205993#comment-13205993
] 

Henri Yandell commented on LEGAL-124:
-------------------------------------

Even the one liner is unnatural Larry; though it is nicer for many cases. The one case you
cover, that of 'source file' is most of the time utterly unarguable (web artifacts like CSS
and JavaScript aside). It's all the other use cases that get fun.

Treating all authored files as 'source files' means that lines of test data will lead to tests
that have to skip the first line, html pages that will end up with half a dozen copyright
statements as they're built from many snippets and readmes that start with a copyright statement.


The one liner you suggest is nice for JavaScript files or for configuration files (assuming
the config file supports comments).

Perhaps create a table with three options:

* Full source header
* One line source header
* None needed

Then fill in the use cases on the RHS.

As you say it's a convenience to downstream users (and so accidental copying is more clearly
wrong), so doing unnatural things should be avoided. 
                
> Are license headers really mandatory in every source file?
> ----------------------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: LEGAL-124
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-124
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: ant elder
>
> The Release FAQ says "Every source file must contain the appropriate ASF License text."
http://www.apache.org/dev/release.html#which-files-contain-license
> The question often comes up if that really means MUST and if it means every single file
in SVN or with a source distribution when a release is being made. 
> I can't find any links now but thought i remember being told some years ago on legal-discuss
was that the top level LICENSE file covers everything anyway so the individual license headers
aren't strictly necessary especially for source files without significant IP. Could we get
a opinion here on if thats true? So for example things like short README files perhaps don't
need a license header or files without significant IP where the header can be problematic
for some reason.
> Any opinions here either way?

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