Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

David Edelsohn dje.gcc@gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 14:31:23 GMT 2021

On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 10:15 AM Jakub Jelinek <jakub@redhat.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 01, 2021 at 10:00:06AM -0400, David Edelsohn via Gcc wrote:
> > GCC was created as part of the GNU Project but has grown to operate as
> > an autonomous project.
> >
> > The GCC Steering Committee has decided to relax the requirement to
> > assign copyright for all changes to the Free Software Foundation.  GCC
> > will continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the GNU
> > General Public License v3.0. GCC will now accept contributions with or
> > without an FSF copyright assignment. This change is consistent with
> > the practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the
> > Linux kernel.
> >
> > Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment don't need to
> > change anything.  Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate
> > of Origin[1] should add a Signed-off-by message to their commit messages.
> > Developers with commit access may add their name to the DCO list in the
> > MAINTAINERS file to certify the DCO for all future commits in lieu of individual
> > Signed-off-by messages for each commit.
> >
> > The GCC Steering Committee continues to affirm the principles of Free
> > Software, and that will never change.
> What does this mean for the source file comments?
> Do we continue using contrib/update-copyright.py --this-year to update
> the FSF copyright notices?
> When a new source file (that has copyright boilerplate, not say some small
> testcase) is added by somebody submitting their work under FSF copyright
> assignment, shall the
>   Copyright (C) 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
> be added?
> What about when such a new source file is added by somebody submitting their
> work under DCO?  Shall they list
>   Copyright (C) 2021 John Doe
> or something else (note, update-copyright.py would need all such copyright
> lines in it).  If yes and later on somebody with FSF copyright assignment
> modifies that, shall the
>   Copyright (C) 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
> line be added?

The copyright author will be listed as "Free Software Foundation,
Inc." and/or "The GNU Toolchain Authors", as appropriate.

> Can contributors with FSF Copyright Assignment on file (or those working
> for companies with company wide ones) assign all their further work or
> just selected commits under DCO?

The update to the policy does not negate any existing or future FSF
copyright assignments -- it solely expands the options available.
Individuals may add a Signed-off-by line or add their name to the DCO
list in the MAINTAINERS file, but it doesn't change the legal
framework for a contribution by an individual or company with a
copyright assignment.  Individuals and companies can choose how to
proceed with their existing FSF copyright assignments.  Individuals
and companies may continue to establish new copyright assignments with
the FSF.

Thanks, David

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