Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: NP-Hardass <NP-Hardass@g.o>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o, Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Subject: Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] GLEP 76: Copyright Policy
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2018 18:08:46
Message-Id: e8eab4d3-2f52-b70f-1b54-fcece76b3f03@gentoo.org
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] GLEP 76: Copyright Policy by Rich Freeman
On 06/11/2018 01:07 PM, Rich Freeman wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 12:25 PM NP-Hardass <NP-Hardass@g.o> wrote: >> >> On 06/10/2018 04:34 PM, Ulrich Mueller wrote: >> >>> Copyright Attribution >>> --------------------- >>> >>> All files included in Gentoo projects must contain an appropriate >>> copyright notice, as defined by this policy. >>> >>> A proper copyright notice appears near the top of the file, and reads:: >>> >>> Copyright YEARS LARGEST-CONTRIBUTOR [OTHER-CONTRIBUTORS] and others >>> >>> The largest contributor is whatever entity owns copyright to some >>> portion of the largest number of lines in the file. Additional >>> contributors can be listed, but this is neither required nor >>> recommended. The "and others" text may be omitted if the explicitly >>> listed contributors hold copyright to the entire file. >> >> Why is this not recommended? > > So, I came up with this to try to keep it as simple as possible. > > My concern was basically analogous to the BSD advertising clause > problem. If you start accumulating authors on this line then it gets > unwieldy. How do you draw the line? > > I suggested drawing the line at whoever touched the most lines, mainly > because it is simple. > > IMO ANY solution is going to be imperfect, so simple trumps all. > > But, it certainly isn't the only possible solution to this problem. > > Keep in mind that notice is not the same as > authorship/copyright/credit/etc. The "and others" is important. > Being #2 doesn't in any way diminish your rights under the law. The > law simply requires a notice, so we need to come up with one. It > shouldn't be viewed as "this is the only important contributor to this > file." If we could not have any notice at all legally then that would > be simpler still. Git already tracks who did what, and should always > be the place to go for this info. > >> If developer A writes 51% of the lines of an ebuild and developer B >> writes 49%, should B not be listed? > > Under the policy, no. > >> What if all the metadata lines defining variables consists of 75% of the >> file and was written by A, but the core functionality of the ebuild (25% >> by size) was written by B? > > Under the policy, "A and others" is listed. > >> If A writes an ebuild, and B replaces a majority (>50%) of the ebuild, >> should B remove A from attribution? > > Under the policy, yes, assuming this is noticed. The policy does not > require checking on every commit, but only when the issue is > escalated. That is actually a change from the wording which tried to > keep things more strict. > >> I think that specifying that substantial (though not necessarily >> specific in defining this) contributions/contributors should included in >> the copyright attribution and that substantial contribution attribution >> *is* recommended. > > So, the issue then becomes whether we have to define "substantial." > The goal is to have something actionable. Anybody can run git blame > easily enough. Figuring out what is "substantial" is harder. > > But, the other change to the policy was to relax this and not worry > about keeping it as up to date. So, in that spirit maybe we can be > more vague and let it be dealt with via escalation. > > That seems to be the approach the Linux Foundation takes. As far as I > can tell they have no policy regarding copyright notice - and the > contents of their files are all over the place. Presumably committers > make their own judgement calls, and if somebody has a problem with it > they point it out to the Linux Foundation. > > That said, the fact that this is basically happened with the eudev > copyright notices didn't prevent it from turning into a bit of a > tempest in a teapot with all kinds of accusations being tossed around. > It was dealt with upon escalation, but people tend to go crazy over > this stuff so some kind of policy that an ordinary dev can understand > wouldn't hurt, so that the issue is prevented. That was the goal of > the policy. > > A big goal here was to keep it simple and understandable but not too > vague. It shouldn't need constant appeals to Trustees/Council/whoever > to apply to individual situations. > > To the extent that the notice doesn't truly give credit to > contributors I'd call it a feature and not a bug. I'd rather have the > notices viewed as useless for that purpose, because then people won't > constantly squabble about how does/doesn't get included on them. The > ideal choices would be listing everybody or nobody, but everybody is > cumbersome, and nobody doesn't seem to be legally valid. So, listing > one by name preserves the nonsensical nature of the notice while still > meeting the legal requirement. Or something like that... >
Keeping it simple is fine by me. As mentioned in my other reply to Ulm, I think I was conflating contribution attribution and copyright assignment. As long as "and others" (being unnamed) doesn't prevent others from retaining their copyright (in practice as opposed to in principle), SGTM. -- NP-Hardass

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