dillon at apollo.backplane.com
Fri Oct 1 11:24:21 PDT 2004
:I'm writing some code that I'd like to apply a 'BSD' license to.
:I found the dragonfly copyright in cvs, which I could apply; however
:there is no simple instructions to reference it like I can for GNU, ie:
: DragonFlyBSD License (c) 2004, George Georgalis
:Is this silly? Should I just use FreeBSD license or copy the DFly
It's not silly, but it does point out a serious flaw with GNU. In
recent years GNU has tried to create a 'floating' copyright. That is,
one where the code simply references some ephermal standard gnu copyright
residing somewhere outside the file being copyrighten.
This is very dangerous, because there is no court precedent for allowing
a published work's copyright to change after the fact and no way to
determine, short of recording an exact date and version (and hoping that
the version is properly updated on the site), which copyright the source
actually refers to.
Because of this and also because of the potential for the copyright
statement to be 'lost', the BSD community has generally decided to
include the whole copyright statement and license in each source file,
and that is what we do too.
If you want to use a short form, and take the risk, best bet is to
control the location of your copyright by publishing it on your own web
site, or perhaps there is an open-source web site where you can publish
it, and then referencing the URL in the source code as part of your
copyright statement in the source code. Just remember, though, your
code will be 'out there' on the internet forever. Your URL may not be.
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