Copying GPL code from one project to another: Legal Question

Michael Tiemann tiemann at
Fri Feb 1 22:42:06 UTC 2008

Yaakov Nemoy wrote:
> Hi List,
> I have a legal question that I'm not sure about.  I would like to copy
> some code from snake, a project hosted on hosted.fp.o, written by
> jlaska, copyrighted attributed to RH, into smolt, which the copyrights
> are attributed to Mike McGrath.  I'm making some changes to the code,
> and of course keeping the GPL license.  How do I label the copyrights?
>  In Mike's name? in RH's name? in both?  And how do I label it
> exactly?
What I recall from my days of contributing code to the FSF was that one 
added a line for one's own code.  Thus, I added to the FSF's copyright 
as follows:

Copyright (c) 1987, 1988, 1989 The Free Software Foundation
Copyright (c) 1989 Michael Tiemann

After I did a copyright assignment to the FSF, it became:

Copyright (c) 1987, 1988, 1989 The Free Software Foundation

But I am not a lawyer and that's just my memory.


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The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one
party, or one must be a peace which rests on the cooperative
effort of the whole world. -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Part of the tragedy is of the artist is that there is no real goal in
achieving what you are naturally good at. The real satisfaction lies in
the things you accomplish by practice and effort.
  -- Joris van den Berg, commenting on the death of H. Cartier Bresson

Dream so big you can share -- me

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