Contributors mailing list archives


Re: Code Headers - Copyright Assertions

Open for Small Business, Graeme Gellatly
- 18/08/2016 05:08:59

You need to be careful with your assertions and language.  You can not possibly know what an entity and an employee may have agreed (or any contributor and third party for that matter).  Moreover, where they have agreed shared copyright (a common case as many developers wouldn't take a job without it) nothing in the ECLA or otherwise can limit those rights without their agreement.  Expressly covered in section 3c of ECLA, which covers that contributions are not in violation of a third parties rights.

Under an ECLA, the entity is assigning some rights to OCA, based on their own rights.  Do not presume that other, entirely normal and compatible arrangements do not exist.

I'm missing some context to the rest of this, but I agree entirely that a long list of contributors/copyright holders etc doesn't really do anything for anyone.

On Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 12:38 PM, Eric Caudal <> wrote:

Employees working for an entity and covered by the ECLA do not retain copyright, the entity does.

Not even talking about the complexity of the maintenance, linking the individuals in the copyright header doesnot bring much.

Having a general list in README is enough: whenever you have a claim on property or wish to contact the author, you can simply ask and/or traceback via github.

This doesnot happen not so often so let's not make a complex rule for such exception.

Eric Caudal [Founder and CEO]
Skype: elico.corp. Phone: + 86 186 2136 1670 (Cell), + 86 21 6211 8017/27/37 (Office)
Elico Shanghai (Hong Kong/Shenzhen/Singapore) Odoo Gold Partner, best Odoo Partner 2014 for APAC
On 08/18/2016 01:24 AM, Dave Lasley wrote:
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Copyright is explicitly defined and noted as a right retained by the contributing entity as part of the OCA CLA

I’m all for attribution, but I think we are mixing a legal and an open source concept. Could we instead readd the @author tag, or something similar?

On Aug 17, 2016, at 10:08 AM, Pedro M. Baeza (Tecnativa) <> wrote:

These questions depend a lot on the copyright laws of each country, but the copyright itself is too tied to private world instead of open source, because the copyright means rights over the exploitation of that work.

In this case, we prefer to consider the copyright as an attribution line, giving the developers the credits for their work.


2016-08-17 17:53 GMT+02:00 Dave Lasley <>:

Hi All,

A conversation just started up in a pull request regarding the copyright assertions in our code headers, and I figured it would be better to maybe break it out into its own forum instead.

The conversation is on Github here if you would like to read it -

The high level issue at hand here is whether we should be adding individuals to the copyright, if that copyright is being asserted by a company.

The arguments for adding authors as well as companies:

  • This allows for attribution to the author on a per-file basis
  • This allows for individual to be contacted regarding specifics of work that was submitted

The arguments against:

  • This creates ambiguity of the copyright, asserting that both the Company and Individual hold copyright to the code
  • This adds undue burden on maintainers in instances where the assertion needs to be updated, such as in my block reasoning 

I would love to see some more thoughts on this.

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