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Re: [GNUnet-developers] question on copyrights in gnURL / cURL

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] question on copyrights in gnURL / cURL
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:56:46 +0200
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On 09/13/2017 08:32 PM, ng0 wrote:
> No matter if we end up with wget2 or stick with gnURL,
> the code on gnURL is out there. However since I picked
> up its maintenance I touched many many files, but only
> added one copyright header in a new file.

That should be fine.

> FSF licensing is a small team, so maybe we have someone
> here with a little bit of expertise: I think I need to
> add copyright header (or at the very least a name+email
> and a way to display that this file was changed within
> gnURL) by now. 

I don't see why, and while I am not a lawyer, I'm pretty sure what I say
here and below is sound.  cURL itself does not credit every contributor
in every file, they list them in docs/THANKS.  GNU says that every
source file should have a copyright header, but the cURL ones do
already, so no need to change that. You said you added one for a new
file, so great, you're done with that!
 > With the license cURL uses:
> Would I be allowed to just grep the "cURL" in the header
> of all files in cURL or simply within the files I touched?

I would leave the cURL license headers completely untouched,
even if you touched the files.  It just muddles the diff.

> And: is it required at all? I have tasks to do which are
> way more fun (and necessary) than git grep + sed'ing through
> an ever-growing fork.

Exactly, I see no reason why you should do this.

> For example neomutt, an effort to add new features and
> more programmatical changes to mutt has kept all the
> original headers and added no copyright notes (no header name
> changes, no copyright lines, etc) (GPL2 licenses iirc).
> One could argue where a copyright'able contribution
> begins. 

But copyright*able* does not mean that you must claim it, it just means
you _could_. And attribution is again separate, under the cURL license I
don't see that you'd even have a right to require attribution, and you
certainly have no duty to provide it in any particular form either.
Besides, Git is good enough for that for anyone who really wants to know.

> I just have a questionmark on the amount of
> changes I have in gnURL compared to cURL based on the
> git commits and if it requires any statement somewhere
> (not everyone reads git logs).
> At its core all the changes I made are with the build system
> of cURL and how it behaves, renamed files, renamed documents,
> renamed occurences, references of files, and some more
> renames and fixes still pending.

Sure, but none of this requires you to make any further changes just
because of copyright.

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