[vlc-devel] Re: RFC: more suited copyright message

Jean-Paul Saman jean-paul.saman at planet.nl
Fri Jul 8 09:01:38 CEST 2005

Well, what do lawyers say about this? Before we change anything in the 
copyright messages we must be damn sure about its legal effect.

Jean-Paul Saman.

Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote:

>	Hello everyone,
>Most source code files in the VLC repository have a copyright mention 
>that reads something like :
>"Copyright (C) xxxx-yyyy VideoLAN"
>Sometimes, it's also the VideoLAN team. I don't like this peremptory 
>words because there is no such legal body as "VideoLAN". To make the 
>situation worst, the VideoLAN trademark is not owned by us.
>"VideoLAN" can namely refer to 3 different groups :
>- The VideoLAN project is a student project at the ECP; it consists of a 
>bunch of students and is renewed every year. While VLC has its roots 
>there, it has been mostly developped by non-members and former members 
>of that project since its release as an open-source software.
>- The VideoLAN club is part of French non-profit Centrale Réseaux 
>("VIA") and, as such, has its own bank account. In pratice, it consists 
>of the same people as the VideoLAN project.
>- The VideoLAN community, with all developpers, translators, testers, 
>etc, but this cannot be "well" defined.
>None of these is a legal entity anywhere, so I'm afraid none of these 
>can legally own copyright (DISCLAIMER: IANAL) nor anything else that 
>could be owned for that matter.
>It is my understanding that VLC (and other VideoLAN software) are 
>actually and hence copyrighted, not by "VideoLAN" but by Centrale 
>Réseaux, and/or its various individual contributors.
>So, I'd rather have copyright messages that read :
>"Copyright (C) xxxx-yyyy VideoLAN (Centrale Réseaux) and its 
>contributors" or something like that. I note that usually have a list 
>of authors in source files, which is good to give "contributors" a 
>meaning. Such a message would be both more accurate and meaningful.
>If no one opposes the change, I'll probably sed all that. Anyone ?

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