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Copyright notices on GPL'ed software

From: Dave (from the UK)
Subject: Copyright notices on GPL'ed software
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 21:05:31 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; SunOS sun4u; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20060120

There is a chess software program package 'scid'

which was primarily developed by one author. He license this under the GPL. Most/all of the source files have a copyright notice similar to this:

Part of:    Scid (Shane's Chess Information Database)
Notice:     Copyright (c) 1999  Shane Hudson.  All rights reserved.
Author:     Shane Hudson (

Shane has unfortunately stopped developing this, and does not seem to be contactable.

I decided to take on further development of the project, so created a new project on Sourceforge

for a new chess program 'ChessDB' for which 99.9% of the code is the code from Scid, with minor changes here and there.

What copyright notices should be left and/or added to the source.

Previously, the 'About' box in this graphical software showed his name and copyright. Should this be removed (he has not in any way agreed to be part of the new project, left in place, or what else?

I've no reason to wish to claim his code, and I understand he has in the past not been happy with people medalling with his code, but it is licensed under the GPL.

Not sure of the best thing to do, to protect the code from someone using it in closed source software, giving Shane credit for the work on which this is based etc.

Any advice.
Dave (from the UK)

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