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From Martin Cooper <>
Subject New license and copyright dates
Date Tue, 03 Feb 2004 03:18:04 GMT

One of the things that has been drilled into me over 25+ years as a
software developer is the importance of keeping the correct copyright
years in the source code. In particular, I have repeatedly heard from
corporate lawyers that it is *very* important to keep the original
copyright year on each file, in addition to the years of subsequent
modification. The reasons have to do with demonstration of "prior art" in
intellectual property law and patent litigation.

The reason I am bringing this up here is because I am seeing committers
across numerous Jakarta projects ignoring this. The problem is spreading
as people start switching to the new 2.0 license, overwriting the old
license with the new one using scripts, and thus losing the original
copyright year.

Rather than try to correct this each time I see it, and wonder how many
places I'm not catching, I think it would be a good idea if a message was
sent to committers@ pointing out the importance of this. Unless all those
corporate lawyers are wrong and / or it doesn't matter to the ASF, that
is... ;-)


Martin Cooper

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