[Python-Dev] Copyright notices in modules

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Tue Jan 20 10:17:37 CET 2009

On 2009-01-20 00:56, Raymond Hettinger wrote:
> Why does numbers.py say:
>    # Copyright 2007 Google, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
>    # Licensed to PSF under a Contributor Agreement.

Because that's where that file originated, I guess. This is part
of what you have to do for things that are licensed to the PSF
under a contributor agreement:


Contributor shall identify each Contribution by placing the following notice in
its source code adjacent to Contributor's valid copyright notice: "Licensed to
PSF under a Contributor Agreement."

> Weren't there multiple contributors including non-google people?

The initial contribution was done by Google (Jeffrey Yasskin
AFAIK) and that's where the above lines originated from.

> Does Google want to be associated with code that
> was submitted with no tests?

Only Google can comment on this.

> Do we want this sort of stuff in the code?

Yes, it is required by the contrib forms.

> If someone signs a contributor agreement, can we
> forgo the external copyright comments?

No. See above. Only the copyright owner can remove such

> Do we want to make a practice of every contributor
> commenting in the name of the company they were
> working for at the time (if so, I would have to add
> the comment to a lot of modules)?

That depends on the contract a contributor has with the
company that funded the work. It's quite common for such
contracts to include a clause stating that all IP generated
during work time is owned by the employer.

> Does the copyright concept even apply to an
> abstract base class (I thought APIs were not
> subject to copyright, just like database layouts
> and language definitions)?

It applies to the written program text. You are probably
thinking about other IP rights such as patents or designs.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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