[FFmpeg-devel] [VOTE] License header consistency

Robert Swain robert.swain
Sun Aug 17 19:40:06 CEST 2008

2008/8/17 Michael Niedermayer <michaelni at gmx.at>:
> On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 07:16:01PM +0200, Dominik 'Rathann' Mierzejewski wrote:
>> On Sunday, 17 August 2008 at 19:08, Michael Niedermayer wrote:
>> > Hi
>> >
>> > Simple question
>> > Do we require all developers to ensure that *GPL license headers are
>> > precissely copy & pastes of the one master copy diego picked?
>> >
>> > My vote is NO
>> >
>> > my argument is that this wastes developer time that can be spend doing
>> > something more usefull even if its just little time, but such little
>> > times add up, and its not only time to fix the headers but also to diff
>> > them against a reference before each check in.
>> > Besides its neither a issue of legal correctness if a LGPL variant is
>> > used that happens to have a space more or less somewhere, or uses
>> > "this library" instead of "ffmpeg" or was what diego prefered 4 years ago.
>> Why not simply provide a template.h and template.c with the correct headers
>> already present. Or maybe template_gpl.* and template_lgpl.*.
> iam all for it if #include "template_lgpl.h" is ok

No one would ever see this preprocessed code with the license header
in it, would this be legally air-tight? If not, is there any legally
air-tight way we can centralise the licenses such that something
concise in source files can identify the code as using one of our
chosen licenses?

> otherwise no i am not because every random file from current ffmpeg could be
> used as well to copy and paste it. And practice tells us this doesnt work
> out, its very common that people end up commiting headers that are different
> In my case in pca.c it was ffmpegs header just a few years old.

I don't understand this part of your argument. You're saying it's not
OK to have some template for the license header from which everyone
should copy and paste for new files because copying and pasting from
any file in the FFmpeg source tree in practice doesn't work because
someone may have committed an incorrect license header at some point.

The point was to have one file with an agreed copy of the license
which is considered correct. New files could copy and paste from this
file to create their license header and know it should be correct. I
don't see why this is a bad idea as it solves the problem of copying
and pasting from either anywhere, or from any FFmpeg source file with
the desired type of license, and having the wrong


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