Copyright block in PKP source code

As far as I can see, every PKP and OJS PHP source code file has the same copyright block at the top:

 * Copyright (c) 2014-2018 Simon Fraser University
 * Copyright (c) 2003-2018 John Willinsky
 * Distributed under the GNU GPL v2. For full terms see the file docs/COPYING.

I am going to contribute a new plugin to OJS, the Review Quality Collector (RQC) plugin.

What should I use in that copyright block?

  • I understand line 3 as a requirement to have a single license for the whole product. Fine.
  • I guess line 1 is also a requirement and meant to serve as a very simple contributor agreement to have a single copyright holder for the whole product. Also fine. (Is this spelled out anywhere?)
  • But line 2 is a mystery to me. I understand that John Willinsky has started the PKP project and ought to appear in many of the files. But it does not seem to make much sense to include him in a file that he has never touched. So should I put my own name in that place? Or not? And if not and if Willinsky instead: Why?

Hi @prechelt,

If you’re working on your own plugin, you can define the license and copyright however you like. I’d recommend using GPLv3 instead of GPLv2, and feel free to place your own copyright on code you’ve written.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team