RT copyright notice

A small matter, but significant. The following:

RT is Copyright 1996-2002 Jesse Vincent. It is distributed under
of the GNU General Public License.

is only true if either Jesse wrote absolutely all the code or all
contributers assigned copyright to Jesse in a traceable fashion before the
bugfix or contribution was incorporated in RT. I don’t think either is the
case. The fact that Jesse has written nearly everything himself is
besides the point when dealing with the GPL.

I suggest that something like the following is more likely to be correct:

RT is Copyright 1996-2002 Jesse Vincent and others. It may be
distributed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License.

It may make things simpler in the future if “version 2 or later” were
added, in case the mythical version 3 comes to light.

Dan Shearer
Open Source Manager
Mob: +61 411 49 1800
Tel: +61 8 8130 3104

You’ve raised a couple of different issues:

1) What license RT is distributed under.  

RT is distributed under v2 of the GNU GPL. [1] This clarification
was made on September 18, 2000. We’ve been speaking with Brad Kuhn
at the FSF about future versions of the GPL and whether it will make
sense to relicense RT under 3.0 or another version in the future.
You’ll hear more about this as it goes forward.

2) Who owns the copyright on RT's codebase.

There have been two significant contributions to RT’s codebase which
stand as works in their own right: Tobias Brox’ early work on RT 1.3
and MAPS, LLC’s work on the late 1.3.x series. Both contributors placed
copyright notices on the relevant sections of the source code.
Neither party has ever requested that I alter the product’s copyright
notice, either in the README or on RT’s login screen. If either
party approached me to do so, I’d be happy to do so. If any member of
the community believes that he or she has contributed significant new
functionality which has been rolled into RT’s core and is uncredited,
they should drop me a line off list and we’ll take care of it ASAP.


[1] http://lists.fsck.com/pipermail/rt-devel/2000-September/000588.html

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