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Re: Adding missing copyright years

From: Bill Wohler
Subject: Re: Adding missing copyright years
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 15:02:21 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.1007 (Gnus v5.10.7) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

>     what the problem is if the copyright includes years for which the there
>     are no copyrightable changes.
> We would in some sense be making a false statement, and that might
> be embarrassing some day.  We should try our best to avoid inaccuracy.

I just detected two types of errors in the recent copyright
modifications by Thien-Thi Nguyen in the MH-E source as Kim Storm also
observed. The first is that 2005 was added to *all* of the files
although many of the files have not been touched this year. The second
is that several years were removed. In one particularly bad case, 2004
was removed and 2005 was added even though there hadn't been any
changes in 2005 at all, let alone changes to obsolete the 2004

Note that MH-E package, like Gnus, has its own, more frequent,
releases. Authors of automatic copyright updates should keep this in

In the next day or two I'll be checking in a new version of MH-E after
merging recent changes from the Emacs repository into it. I'll also
correct these copyright problems as well as compilation warnings that
were recently introduced. As usual, I'll let you know when that

Finally, to my knowledge, the copyright "bible" for the Free Software
Foundation is at:


In addition, Richard has told me that multi-line copyrights are OK,
and you can use two-digit years as long as they are bracketed by
matching four digit years (for example, 1996, 97, 98, 1999, 2000, 01,
02, 2003).

It would be useful if the maintainer of the above document could add
this information, plus any additional information generated by this

My gut feel is that attempting to remove copyright years is going to
create far more problems then it solves. Let's let the sleeping dog lie.

Bill Wohler <address@hidden>  http://www.newt.com/wohler/  GnuPG ID:610BD9AD
Maintainer of comp.mail.mh FAQ and MH-E. Vote Libertarian!
If you're passed on the right, you're in the wrong lane.

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