Re: [Rd] copyright issues when package maintainer changes

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Tue 26 Oct 2004 - 04:59:16 EST

On Mon, 25 Oct 2004, Whit Armstrong wrote:

> I will be taking over as maintainer of the its package from Giles Heywood.
> The code was originally written while he was working at Commerzbank. I have
> added the header below to the top of the R source file to indicate the
> changes in the copyrights for the code. The package was originally released
> under GPL2. I have no experience with copyright issues, and would
> appreciate it if someone who does would kindly indicate whether the header
> below is correct and conforms with normal practice.

Well, GPL2 is a licence, not a copyright. I don't know what country you are in, whereas Giles was in the UK -- copyright issues are somewhat country-specific.

However, two recommendations:

  1. only give the year of the changes. They can overlap.
  2. only add your copyright statement to files you actually change (and not just change by adding a copyright statement but adding something with intellectual content).

This is all untested waters and let's hope it remains that way!

> Thanks in advance,
> Whit Armstrong
> <header in R source file itspkg.r>
> # itspkg.r: a time series library in R
> # Copyright (C) 2003 to June 2004 Commerzbank Securities
> # Copyright (C) June 2004 to present Whit Armstrong
> #
> # This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
> # it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
> # the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
> # (at your option) any later version.
> #
> # This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
> # but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
> # GNU General Public License for more details.
> #
> # You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
> # along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
> # Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307
> </header in R source file itspkg.r>

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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