2008.12.13 21:52 "Re: [Tiff] example of (standalone) TIFFRegisterCODEC", by Bob Friesenhahn
You comment is important, as the first paragraph suggests that these copyright notices SHOULD be included in all libtiff code. It's not explicit about when it applies and when it does not.
They should be included if the source module contains source code written by Sam Leffler or Silicon Graphics. Otherwise the libtiff project should come up with a name for itself for copyright purposes, or use the names of all the individuals who contributed substantial code to that module. Using the names of many individuals obviously causes problems.
perpetuating it throughout the library and utilities. If I copy code from one part of the library into another section, and then perform a modification, does this copyright notice apply or not? I don't think the lines of code themselves provide any clues about what Sam contributed and what he did not.
Copyright applies to any copying. If the source code is completely rewritten then there might not be any copied source code remaining.
I guess that's part of the problem with these types of license comments within open-source code because they live on forever in the code until somebody with the right insight knows it's time to remove them.
I agree that it is a problem. The correct situation is that the copyright notices are responsibly maintained thoughout the development process. This is clearly not the case for the past 10 years. The poor copyright documentation puts commerical users into a quandary. They need a clear definition of who wrote the code and the usage license.
GraphicsMagick Maintainer, http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/