(for the sake of this discussion, please forget I contributed something tiny - I really don’t care, but I do care about this for the sake of more notable contributors)
A while ago I opened a bug ticket that I think “Copyright © 2008, Carnegie Mellon University. All rights reserved.” needs to be changed to “Copyright © 2008-, Carnegie Mellon University and Contributors” in all files with external contributions. Also, an Authors.txt in the main folder should probably list all of them, see other open-source projects.
This was rejected with the following reasoning (I am very deeply sorry if I’m remembering some of this incorrectly, it has been a while):
All contributors would know they are implicitly giving up any copyright claim by contributing
This would not be possible anyway, since Disney and/or Carnegie Mellon might want to use Panda as they wish under arbitrary other licensing
Most contributions would be too little to have the necessary complexity for copyright claims in the first place
The more I think about this, the more I think it is wrong.
Regarding 1.: It is very unusual for people to implicitly give up their claim to contributed code, and for the cases this is done, they usually sign a waiver (also see e.g. Ubuntu’s contributor’s agreement), therefore this is definitely not some expected thing.
Regarding 2.: Why wouldn’t Carnegie Mellon acknowledge the contributors, and stick to the very liberal open-source licensing it has decided for on its own? The license is so overly liberal that not much more beyond a simple attribution would be required anyway, so why would they want to reserve any additional rights for arbitrary licensing beyond that?
Regarding 3.: Even the little changes sum up, and if someone contributes a lot of little things, I’m quite sure as a whole it can definitely be recognized as a notable addition. Therefore, I think this is a bit of a shady argument as well.
If someone who actually represents Carnegie Mellon could chime in, that would be great. Maybe there’s just some misunderstanding and this can be changed as suggested (or in a similar way)?
If Panda3D is actually considered a true open-source project, I really think this should be cleared up.