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Say I'm developing a piece of Open Source software (BSD-Like permissive license) and I write the initial release entirely on my own. After the initial release however I would like numerous other developers to contribute. How do I deal with the Copyright of this project? Obviously I completely own the first version, but how do I handle the Copyrights of these contributors?
I've seen projects where at the top of a source file there will be a Copyright notice acknowledging the one who originally wrote that source file and maybe a partner, with many contributors I don't see this as maintainable though, anyone could patch minor or major parts of that file, how would you handle this?
I've also seen projects that at the top of their source files say something along the lines of:
Copyright (C) The ExampleProject Developers, see CONTRIBUTORS
In the CONTRIBUTORS file in the root directory there is a list of contributors to the project, I see this as more manageable as the first, but I'm not quite sure if this is suitable.
Another similar system I've seen is that at the top of the source files it will say
See LICENSE for details
then in the LICENSE file they have a big long list of contributor Copyrights, then the actual license following it.
I have also seen projects where the original author maintains copyright over the entire project, how does that happen?
What do you suggest the best way to do things now is? I don't want people to have second thoughts about contributing to the project because I'm handling ownership and credit all wrong, how do larger projects (that don't ask for Copyrights to be signed over) handle things like this?
Thanks for any information, I'm having trouble figuring out how I should release my project.