[ClusterLabs Developers] Feedback wanted: proposed new copyright policy for Pacemaker

Ken Gaillot kgaillot at redhat.com
Wed Mar 6 11:08:17 EST 2019

Hi all,

Until now, Pacemaker's policy for copyright notices has been to let the
original author of a file write the notice, and then just update the
year after that, regardless of who else edits the file.

As time goes on, and especially as Pacemaker creator Andrew Beekhof
reduces his involvement, that's becoming awkward. Most files have been
edited by numerous contributors.

Red Hatter Jan Pokorný raised the issue recently, and we came up with
some ideas. After running those by a lawyer, we arrived at this
proposed copyright notice for Pacemaker files:

    Copyright YYYY-YYYY the Pacemaker project contributors

    The version control history for this file may have further details.

It was interesting to me at least that copyright notices do not affect
copyright ownership at all; they are merely hints for who to go asking
about it. Actual copyright ownership follows applicable laws and
regulations, which for most countries say that copyright attaches to
the author, or to the employer if the work was produced as a work for
hire. (That of course is my non-lawyerly understanding of the matter.)

The proposed notice above points to the version control, which provides
information about the authors of each change to the file. That should
generally be sufficient, but if any author wants an explicit copyright
notice for their changes, they can put that in their commit message.

If there are no objections, I'll formalize that as the Pacemaker
project policy. I've already cleared it with Beekhof, so I'll update
files with his notice to the new format, and also contact other people
as needed for other files.
Ken Gaillot <kgaillot at redhat.com>

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