[ntp:questions] poll interval - RFC compliance question

John Ackermann N8UR jra at febo.com
Sun Jun 15 16:30:57 UTC 2008

Unruh said the following on 06/15/2008 11:35 AM:

> Yes, it is pedantry, since the copyright is automatic and does not need to
> be asserted. Ie, that notice is infomational, not a legal requirement. 
> It simply informs the reader as to who actually owns the copyright. What is
> not mere pedantry is where or not this claim is actually true. Many people
> have contributed to ntpd, and unless they all transfered copyright to David
> Mills, then the claim that he owns the copyright is really false. They all
> do (David has copyright interest in all of the works since the other
> people's work is derivative of his work, but others have copyright interest
> as well.) To keep things perfectly clean, David shoule ask anyone who
> contributes to transfer their copyright to him. 

While the notice is not mandatory, it does have legal value -- in
particular, it negates a defense of innocent infringement.  And, to
claim the international protection of the UCC treaty I referred to in my
other message, you do need to include the notice.

Your point about whether the copyright notice is accurate is
interesting.  I wonder if it would even be possible at this point to
determine who all the contributors are!

I thought that Linux used the CREDITS file as a list of copyright
holders, but I just looked at some source and that doesn't appear to be
the case -- instead, each source file has its own copyright notice in
the name of one or more people, with the COPYING file not listing any
copyright owners at all.  I guess that has the effect of putting the
whole kernel tree under the GPL, but the resulting object file(s) as a
collective work of all the contributors.

I just looked at the ntp 4.2.0 source (the only tree I have handy at the
moment) and the random source files I looked at do not have any
copyright notice at all, so the Linux model doesn't appear to be in place.


More information about the questions mailing list