Ticket #996 (closed task: fixed)

Opened 8 years ago

Last modified 8 years ago

Standardize license blurbs in ImageJ2, ImgLib and SCIFIO/Bio-Formats

Reported by: curtis Owned by: curtis
Priority: blocker Milestone: imagej2-b1-initial
Component: Community Version:
Severity: serious Keywords:
Cc: Blocked By:
Blocking: #100


A few changes are needed to the license blurbs of various projects in the ImageJ2 software stack:

  1. Use BSD-2 uniformly for permissively licensed areas of code.
  2. Embed list of actual authors (gleaned from git) to each source file.
  3. Put correct range of years for each source file (gleaned from git).
  4. For each project, decide on the correct copyright entity to credit in the generic toplevel blurb (preceding the actual author names) as well as the pom.xml files.
  5. For SCIFIO, update license from GPLv2 to BSD-2 once item 4 above is decided.

For much of this work, it will be easiest to write a script. We can then execute the script at the start of every new year to make sure the blurbs stay up to date.

Our copyrights must be in order before we can release a proper beta!

Change History

comment:1 Changed 8 years ago by curtis

  • Blocking 100 added

comment:2 Changed 8 years ago by curtis

  • Status changed from new to accepted

We decided not to derive the authors list from git, since it cannot be accurate in some cases. Instead, we will manually maintain the authors for each source file of ImageJ2 and ImgLib. For those files missing an authors list, though, we may add a primary author as provided by the git history.

For uniformly switching to BSD-2 and updating the year range, I will try to use the  license-maven-plugin, or write a script if that is infeasible for some reason.

For deciding on the correct copyright entity, I have asked the UW administrative legal team for their advice, and am waiting to hear back.

comment:3 Changed 8 years ago by curtis

For the copyright holders in the header, after consulting the UW administrative legal team, we decided to use "Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin-Madison" for the LOCI team since that is the legal copyright holder.

So the complete  ImageJ2 copyright blurb is currently:

Copyright (C) 2009 - 2012 Board of Regents of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Max Planck
Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

For the  ImgLib copyright holders, there are several other institutions involved. Further, some copyright holders contributed work on their personal time, and thus retain personal copyright. As such, we decided to use the complete list of individual authors as listed by git shortlog -ns, ordered by number of commits:

Copyright (C) 2009 - 2012 Stephan Preibisch, Stephan Saalfeld, Tobias
Pietzsch, Albert Cardona, Barry DeZonia, Curtis Rueden, Lee Kamentsky, Larry
Lindsey, Johannes Schindelin, Christian Dietz, Grant Harris, Jean-Yves
Tinevez, Steffen Jaensch, Mark Longair, Nick Perry, and Jan Funke.

For  SCIFIO and Bio-Formats, the current proposal is:

Copyright (C) 2005-2012, Board of Regents of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Glencoe Software, Inc., and University of Dundee.

But the OME team is still internally discussing whether this blurb should be stamped across all SCIFIO and Bio-Formats source files, or whether each file should have its own custom tailored (and manually maintained) copyright header. (See also the  OME FAQ's question on copyrights.)

comment:4 Changed 8 years ago by curtis

On the technical side: to stamp and maintain the headers and LICENSE.txt files, we decided to use  license-maven-plugin for all our projects, including ImageJ2 and ImgLib.

Copyright headers for ImageJ were updated in 60b1adb03fb5fafc5e2c1143f20f8a65aff89831, e7d70fb96b2c9c5164a5e0147084e85b49a85d12 and d87c3a5cb2f2d33423d4b540add3d57bf2e1369a. Headers for ImgLib were updated in  da77c2 and  c08b80. ImgLib LICENSE.txt files were updated in  821c56. Helper scripts for both ImageJ2 and ImgLib were added in 9bf79421216e810f1106c951cb9fae835e0f7ea0 and 59fde5b8035a94645a1f35f6157b406018d86ac5.

In the future, updating copyright headers (e.g., to update the range of years, or change the copyright holders) is as easy as executing the "mvn license:update-file-header" command.

The license-maven-plugin configuration was  added to the SciJava common POM as well as the ImageJ and ImgLib base POMs, which makes it easier to use license-maven-plugin with all SciJava-based software.

There was one bug in license-maven-plugin, which was  reported and fixed in the latest development version. I made an intermediate release of the plugin,  1.1-20120328, and  updated pom-scijava to use it for the time being, until 1.1 is officially released.

comment:5 Changed 8 years ago by curtis

LICENSE.txt files for ImageJ2 were added in ae1449e2b14f25af07710e279164819b61a6217b.

comment:6 Changed 8 years ago by curtis

  • Status changed from accepted to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed

In summary, items 1 through 4 are now complete. Item 5 is waiting on further discussion amongst the involved copyright holders. Ticket #100 will continue to remain open to track the status of SCIFIO/Bio-Formats. This ticket, however, is closed, since the headers for ImageJ2 and ImgLib have been standardized.

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