svn commit: r187580 - head/tools/sched

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Thu Jan 22 16:19:17 PST 2009

2009/1/22 Robert Watson <rwatson at>:
> On Thu, 22 Jan 2009, Ivan Voras wrote:
>> 2009/1/22 Robert Watson <rwatson at>:
>>> FWIW, the one case where I don't really do that is when I worked on some
>>> code on my own and hence hold the copyright for it, then did some work under
>>> a contract for a customer on it such that they own the copyright on
>>> enhancements, and then I do some further work on my own.  In that case, I'll
>>> leave a discontinuity to reflect the fact that the copyright on changes made
>>> in the gap were assigned elsewhere.  Not clear this is the right thing to
>>> do, but I'm fairly sure at least some of my customers are more comfortable
>>> with that as it leaves no confusion in the source as to which bits they
>>> sponsored/own.
>> Of course this is purely cosmetic as "one year" is a terrible granularity
>> for commits to a moving target :)
>> (i.e. legally it's worthless information)
> Sorry, that simply isn't the case, as copyright expiration doesn't track the
> exact moment at which something was created.  Copyright law varies by
> country, but US copyright law is of particular importance to the FreeBSD
> Project, so I direct you to the US Copyright Office's rather helpful
> circular 92, which provides a useful summary:
>  § 305. Duration of copyright: Terminal date
>  All terms of copyright provided by sections 302 through 304 run to the end
>  of the calendar year in which they would otherwise expire.
> So the year of creation really is the date that matters. And as nebulous as
> the far-off expiration of copyright dates may seem to you now, remember
> that: (a) we work on software that includes copyrights almost 30 years old,
> and (b) copyright law has an annoying propensity to change out from under
> you.


I'm not a lawyer (very obviously - no talent for it all :) ) and was
probably wrongly interpreting the Geneva copyright convention.

Can someone write a "practical guide to FreeBSD copyright matters for
developers" somewhere - wiki perhaps? (it could also include
GPL-related guidelines - GPLv3 even if there's consensus about it).

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