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AUTHORS File

go/releasing/authors

This information is in addition to go/releasing/contributions. It does not replace it.

At some point in the life of an open source project, a contributor may ask to be included in the list of copyright holders. By default, contributors (or their employers) hold copyright on their contributions, whether or not we note that publicly, and the commit log is the most accurate record of their work. But it’s reasonable to want special public credit for your work.

Rather than attempting to modify the copyright statement for the project to list all of the authors and contributors, follow these steps.

  1. Update the copyright statements in your LICENSE file and all file headers to list “The [Project] Authors” rather than “Google” as the copyright holder:

    • Before: Copyright 2014 Google Inc.
    • After: Copyright 2014 The [Project Name] Authors.
  2. Create a top-level file named AUTHORS, which will identify the copyright holders of the project. For contributions made under a Corporate CLA, then the copyright belongs to that organization. If it was made under an Individual CLA, the submitter has indicated that they own the copyright.

    # This is the list of [Project Name] authors for copyright purposes.
    #
    # This does not necessarily list everyone who has contributed code, since in
    # some cases, their employer may be the copyright holder.  To see the full list
    # of contributors, see the revision history in source control.
    Google Inc.
    Ada Lovelace
    Nikola Tesla
    ...
    

    It is not necessary to proactively list the copyright holder for every single contribution you receive. Rather, it is sufficient to add copyright holders when they request to be added.

NOTE: If your project is already maintaining AUTHORS and CONTRIBUTORS files using the previously recommended approach and would like to move to this simpler model, contact emailremoved@ to discuss.

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