Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2023 06:39:15 +0100 From: Markus Wichmann <nullplan@....net> To: musl@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: Copyright years On Mon, Jan 09, 2023 at 03:17:02AM -0500, Rich Felker wrote: > While everyone is doing the "update the copyright year range" ritual, > I noticed we're a few years behind on this, but also that there seems > to be a new consensus that years are not needed in copyright notices. > If there are no strong objections I'd like to just go ahead and remove > the years from ours rather than bumping it. To my knowledge, the copyright notices are entirely unnecessary. Post Berne convention, you get copyright of a work by virtue of being its author, and remain owner of the copyright until you assign it to someone else, or else the protection period elapses. However, the protection period's clock doesn't even start ticking until you kick the bucket, so that is a very small concern. The Berne convention is not immediately binding law, but it has been codified into national copyright laws, which is why all of them say very similar things. And all copyright laws I'm aware of state the same thing about authorship and co-authorship. Everyone who has contributed to musl is a co-author and therefore co-owner of the copyright. The US has copyright registration, but it is not necessary to register a work to gain copyright. Rather, registration is a prerequisite for a lawsuit for copyright infringement. And in such a lawsuit, the plaintiff gets statutory damages only if the infringement occurred after registration. This is only in the US, however, and other states do not necessarily have a comparable system. Therefore the copyright notice serves little purpose beyond naming the author, but you have a separate complete list of authors. So as far as I'm concerned, you may as well remove it entirely. Ciao, Markus
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