Colin Turner <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
> I hope you can help and advise on this issue. I am packaging a web
> application for Debian, I am also the principal upstream author. The
> code is generally GPL v2 PHP. Over the years the project inherited, from
> The problem I have is that the code is, like so much JS, sitting
> available, apparently for general consumption on several websites. I
> have been unable to acquire a license from any of the authors (no reply
> to emails) and the code is so astonishingly trivial it's hard to see how
> it could possibly be re-implemented without it being the same code with
> different variable names.
> Any guidance on what I should do? The functionality the code provides
> (counting and capping characters in textareas) is quite useful and
> losing it would probably cause dataloss in use of the application.
The FSF's guidelines used to specify 
For the sake of registering the copyright on later versions of the
software, you need to keep track of each person who makes
significant changes. A change of ten lines or so, or a few such
changes, in a large program is not significant.
That wording has changed to remove the explicit reference to "ten
lines". So in the copyright file, I would mention that this fragment
does not have an author and mention FSF's old position. I do not know
how the ftp-masters will react, though.