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Re: Copyright update

From: Mark Mielke <mark(at)mark(dot)mielke(dot)cc>
To: Andrew Chernow <ac(at)esilo(dot)com>
Cc: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>, Greg Stark <greg(dot)stark(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Copyright update
Date: 2009-01-01 22:56:23
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Andrew Chernow wrote:
> Bruce Momjian wrote:
>> Greg Stark wrote:
>>> Is that actually legal if we haven't modified the files? Or is the  
>>> whole source tree considiered one work?
>> One work, I assume.
> I am not a lawyer, but if its one work, why is there a notice in every 
> source file?  ISTM that if it were one work there would only have to 
> be one notice.

"Would only have to be one notice" is correct. You do not need a notice 
in every file. You put a notice in every file as extra unnecessary 
effort to make sure that people cannot possibly miss it. It is not a 
requirement for copyright that every file have a copyright comment on 
top. That it is in every source file is similar to putting extra parens 
around expressions or embedding documentation in an API. It does not 
indicate that the work is not a single work. It is simply making the 
terms more explicit and easily accessible.

Most importantly, the *lack* of a copyright notice, does not indicate 
that there is no copyright rights defined. If 10 files have a copyright 
notice, and the 11th file does not, this does not indicate that the 11th 
file has more or less copyright restrictions than the other 10 that are 
explicit. The implicit copyright may be "All rights reserved" whereas 
the explicit copyright may say "You may use this software for free 
provided that you do not hold the authors responsible for any damages 
caused by use of the software". Which is more restrictive?


Mark Mielke <mark(at)mielke(dot)cc>

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