[Buildbot-devel] Licensing clarification

Dustin J. Mitchell dustin at zmanda.com
Sun Oct 14 16:07:20 UTC 2007

On 10/14/07, Gianluca Sforna <giallu at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/14/07, Brian Warner <warner-buildbot at lothar.com> wrote:
> > I'm less eager to add the boilerplate to every source file, mostly because I
> > find it distracting when reading source code, but I'll think about it.
> I understand your concern. I am not sure how much it is to be
> considered a "suggestion" or a legal requirement: I am afraid it is
> the latter, but that's not probably the same on all jurisdictions.

To be clear, nothing is a legal requirement.  Brian can put "This file
is covered under Brian's Fun License" on line 27 of every third source
file, if he wants -- it just wouldn't be very helpful when it came
time to defend his copyright in court.  So let's be clear -- the FSF
*recommends* that every source file contain a copyright statement
including years and an author, as well as an indication of the file's
license.  At no point does it *require* such.  See

Discussion of the BSD/Linux wifi licensing conflict revealed the
reason for adding licenses at a per-file level: if source under
another license is included (either by a contributor, or by
incorporation of some utility library), it is much easier to indicate
the difference in licenses on a per-file basis.  There be other legal
implications to licensing at the project level.

At the bottom line, though, the decision comes down to a matter of
policy for the Fedora project, since it is your choice whether to
include buildbot in Fedora 8.


Storage Software Engineer

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