[quagga-dev 14712] adding copyright lines when modifying a file

Lou Berger lberger at labn.net
Mon Feb 22 22:26:55 GMT 2016

    The following caught my eye:
> + at c Copyright @copyright{} 2015 Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Development LP

Which lead me to finding http://patchwork.quagga.net/patch/1800/ aka

+You are encouraged add any applicable copyright claims to files being
+modified or added.  The standard way is to add a string in the following
+format near the beginning of the file:
+    Copyright (C) <Year> <name of person/entity>[, optional contact details]

The added copyright statement in the 1st mail conforms with the 2nd mail
(change to HACKING.md), but the result of the 1st is to add a Copyright
where non has existed before -- which reads to me as if the Copyright is
covering the whole file -- clearly not a desired (or probably intended)

It seems to me that at most a modification to an existing quagga file
should says is "Portions Copyright...."

My personal (and company's) approach is to add no new statement on files
we modify, and to add a Copyright statement on files we create without
derivative content.  (See bgp_encap.c for an example of a file we
created *with* significant derivative content.)

So my question is:
What's the right answer?

- Adding an unqualified Copyright following
- Adding "Portions Copyright ..."
- Treating all modifications as Derivative Works and non-copyrightable
- Requiring a new file for any new Copyrighted material
- Something else

I think at very least, the Copyright statement above and HACKING.md
should be modified to say Portions...

Does anyone else care/have an opinion? (If not, I'll submit a patch to
HACKING.md adding the word "Portions".)


PS I had an off line discussion with Paul on this topic which lead to
this mail

More information about the Quagga-dev mailing list