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From: John Maddock (john_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-08-22 13:07:00

Paul A Bristow wrote:
> I have been revising some code that claims
> // Copyright Paul A. Bristow 2006.
> // Use, modification and distribution are subject to the
> // Boost Software License, Version 1.0.
> // (See accompanying file LICENSE_1_0.txt
> // or copy at
> but now it is 2007 - (even though it seems like I wrote it yesterday
> ;-)
> I was tempteed to update
> // Copyright Paul A. Bristow 2007.
> but I then realised that this would imply that it was written in 2007,
> so if this date was to be used to squash some of the absurd software
> patent claims - for example see
> and many other comments on this,
> an issue that has re-surfaced again recently.
> I see an important side effect of software leaders like Boost is to
> preempt any attempt by companies to claim (or even threaten to claim)
> bogus patent rights by providing clear evidence of prior art.
> Do Boosters have any views on how we could or should be able to show
> date of writing? Is there going to be an archive of old releases by
> which we could establish a writing date? Or better is there going to
> be an archive of stuff *before* it gets reviewed and released (often
> at least a year earlier in the past and I doubt if it will get much
> less than a year even if we smarten up our act).
> Some of these claims go back a long time - a decade or so.
> Does the copyright claim date have any relevance to this?
> Should I write
> // Copyright Paul A. Bristow 2006 - 7.
> to show 1st date and developments?

Usually we use:

// Copyright Ada Lovelace 1815-1852

Which tends to establish prior art :-)

Oh, OK, so you want a serious answer :-) Look at some boost source files,
and you should see plenty in the above general format. But specifying
individual years is fine too.

BTW, One of the advantages of an open source control mechanism, is that we
have a complete revision history, so who did what when should be pretty
clear... not that that will necessarily stop all the chancers though :-(


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