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AUTHORS File

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 project authors. 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. Under the terms of the Corporate CLA and Individual CLA, contributors own the copyright to their work and merely license it to the project. But it’s reasonable to want special public credit for your work. To that end, contributors may be recognized in a project’s AUTHORS file.

Rather than attempting to modify the headers for the project to list every single contributor, follow these steps to create additional visibility for contributor acknowledgment. Again, the git history will be the best source of truth as to copyright ownership for each contribution.

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

    • Before: Copyright 2014 Google LLC
    • 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]'s significant contributors.
    #
    # This does not necessarily list everyone who has contributed code,
    # especially since many employees of one corporation may be contributing.
    # To see the full list of contributors, see the revision history in
    # source control.
    Google LLC
    Ada Lovelace
    Nikola Tesla
    ...
    

    It is not necessary to proactively list the contributor for every single contribution you receive. Rather, it is sufficient to add contributors when they request to be added. Adding contributors to the AUTHORS file is entirely within the project’s discretion and has no implications for copyright ownership.

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.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under CC-BY-4.0 license. Third-party product names and logos may be the trademarks of their respective owners.