Copyright notices

Cyrille Berger cberger at
Thu Jun 17 19:38:43 CEST 2010

First, it is not very well defined when someone starts to hold copyright on a 
file, and it depends from country to country. Boudewijn is of the opinion that 
as soon as you make a change to the file it would be ok to get copyright on it, 
unfortunately, generally, wrong copyright header is worse than lack of it, so 
I think it is better to stick to the substantial change gives copyright 

On Thursday 17 June 2010, JL VT wrote:
> I'm confused on how I should handle copyright notices in files.
> What I've done so far is preserve all notices in the files I modify,
> and add mine only if my modifications are substantial.
> But then I found these classes, all children of CurveOption:
> kis__pressure__mix__option_8cpp-source.html
> /kis__pressure__rotation__option_8cpp-source.html
> /kis__pressure__size__option_8cpp-source.html
> They're SUBSTANTIALLY similar to each other but with different
> copyright notices.
> In fact, if you look at kis_pressure_size_option and
> kis_pressure_mix_option, the only difference, apart from the obvious
> difference in class names and methods, is a single included file, and
> a "0.5" instead of "1.0".
> are they so similar yet each one has an only author in the
> copyright notice?, It's very likely that someone copypasted a section
> out of convenience and replaced words to create the new one (or just
> used the old one as a reference).

> This leads me to think there are situations where it is acceptable to
> put just one's name in the copyright notice, deleting old ones or not
> including them if one just copypasted fragments or used the old file
> as a reference; is there?.

It is *never* acceptable to remove copyright notice, you can never be sure 
that you removed entirely the work of the author. That said many of us are not 
thorough with copyright headers, I know that I personnaly seldom edit them 
after changes.

> Also:
> When should new copyright notices be added?. If I change a name of a
> class, is that worthy of adding a new copyright notice?.

I don't think it is.

> Don't be confused by the nitpicky nature of those questions, I'm not
> trying to invent or discover ways to claim code I just copypasted as
> entirely mine, I'm just very curious.
No problem, it is a very important issue.

> Besides, I'm currently studying intellectual property in my
> university, so my question is more about the modus operandi of
> Krita/KOffice specifically than about a more general, theoretical
> reason; because if it were so, I'd give my own input on what the
> policy for copyright notices could be  :-)
In Argentina :) I don't think you are learning about copyright law in every 
country ;p

Cyrille Berger

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