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Legal question on copyright notices

From: Sascha Wilde
Subject: Legal question on copyright notices
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2006 16:06:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Hi *,

I'm working on getting nnir.el (which provides some search
functionality based on local search engines like swish-e for gnus) in
the gnus main distribution, and by that a regular part the Emacs, too.

Part of the task is to transfer the copyright to the fsf, which is
basically no problem, as all contributors have signed papers.

My question is, how will the copyright notices in the file have to

By now there are copyright notices of the main contributors scattered
all over the file.  Can they be substituted by one copyright notice of
the fsf, like:

 ;; Copyright (C) 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,
 ;;   2005, 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

which would mean to change the copyright to the fsf retroactively.  Or
must they be retained, in which case I would move them all to the head
of the file and at the fsf copyright to the end of them, like:

 ;; Copyright (C) 1998 Kai Gro├čjohann
 ;; Copyright (C) 1998 Simon Josefsson <address@hidden>.
 ;; Copyright (C) 2000, 2001 Christoph Conrad <address@hidden>.
 ;; Copyright (C) 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Which is the right way to do this?

Sascha Wilde

"Unix was the first OS where you could carry the media and system
documentation around in a briefcase. This was fixed in BSD4.2."

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