Re: Boot messages

Linus Torvalds (
Mon, 1 Jul 1996 09:58:22 +0300 (EET DST)

On Mon, 1 Jul 1996, Albert Cahalan wrote:
> Well, I do. I wouldn't dare put my name in the bootmessages,
> even if my contribution was more significant. I just did a
> case-insensitive grep for the names of "famous" Linux developers
> in my boot messages. Linus Torvalds was not there - he must not
> be very important I guess. I also checked:

[ list of others not mentioned in boot messages deleted ]

Yup. I prefer people NOT to put their copyright messages in the boot
messages (or in any other interactive format) - it gets really ugly very

Exactly because we do have sources available, you don't NEED to beat your
breast in that way: it's only irritating to others, and people who do
want to know can look it up (or if you want to show off to somebody, you
can just point them to the sources).

I _also_ dislike unnecessary copyright messages in source files: it should be
quite enough to just state your name, email address (not for legal reasons,
but for easy lookup of contact info), year(s) and the "Copyright" notice.
There is a COPYING file in the top-level directory, and that's quite enough -
if people want to they can add a pointer to the file ("This software is
released under the GPL, see the COPYING file for details"), but there is
really no need to clutter up the code with anything more.

Note: you don't really need anything more for legal reason - any country
honouring the Berne copyright conventions should in fact give you the
copyright without any copyright statement AT ALL (but for practical reasons
you're better off with the one-liner statement anyway). Not having any
copyright text does NOT mean that people have any rights to the code anyway..

(In the US you can seemingly register your copyright for some silly legal
reason: it makes a difference when assessing damages in cases of copyright
infringement. Just one more issue that shows the total disregard for sanity
of the US legal system. Damn third world countries. And they have the gall to
accuse China of having copyright problems).