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Check if files have a proper copyright header.

Project description


Copyright 2016 Janus Friis Nielsen.

This file is part of copycheck.


Copycheck inspects the beginning of all files reports any file without a copyright header.

The recognition of copyright headers is very rudimentary. Copycheck scans the 10 first lines for occurrences of the word “copyright” in any casing.


copycheck is available for install through PyPI:

.. code-block:: bash

$ pip install copycheck

copycheck can also be installed from source with:

python install


The tool will show a description of usage when given the –help option:

$ copycheck --help

  usage: copycheck [-h] [-v] [--debug DEBUG] {check} ...

  Check source files for missing copyright headers

  positional arguments:
    {check}        sub-commands
      check        check for missing copyright headers

  optional arguments:
    -h, --help     show this help message and exit
    -v, --verbose  Enable verbose output
    --debug DEBUG  Enable debug output

Check all files in a directory

$ copycheck check path/to/directory

Check all files in a number of directories

$ copycheck check path/to/directory path/to/another/directory /and/so/on/..

Ignore files

You can put a files called .copycheckignore in the base directory of your project.

The syntax of the files is Git wildmatch. The same as used in .gitignore.

Get files sorted

$ copycheck check path/to/directory | sort


copycheck is licensed under the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. See LICENSE or the FAQ for more information.

In summary, you may use copycheck with any closed or open source project without affecting the license of the larger work so long as you:

  • give credit where credit is due,

  • and release any custom changes made to copycheck.


The source code for copycheck is available from the GitHub repo janusdn/copycheck.


When contributing changes remember to update the CHANGELOG.rst.

Building copycheck

Make sure you have a Python 3.5 environment with the requirements.

E.g. use pyenv:

$ pyenv virtualenv 3.5.0 copycheck-venv
$ pyenv activate copycheck-venv

Make sure pip is up-to-date:

$ pip install --upgrade pip

Install requirements:

$ pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt

Build the wheel:

$ make


Use the following command to install the package in the local environment during development.

$ pip install -e .

This allows you to change the code and test copycheck directly.


Do the following to release a new version:

  1. Commit changes

  2. Push changes

  3. Merge with master

  4. Update local master

  5. Find the next release version, e.g. 6.6.6

  6. Create new branch with name core/release-6.6.6

  7. Bump version in

  8. Run ./ 6.6.6

Upload to Pypi

First, perform a test upload to verify everything is nice and dandy. Then perform the real upload.

Make sure the following environment variables have been properly defined:

$ export PYPI_TEST_USERNAME="<username>"
$ export PYPI_TEST_PASSWORD="<your_test_password>"
$ export PYPI_USERNAME="<your_password>"
$ export PYPI_PASSWORD="<username>"

Test upload to pypi

You may need to register on the Pypi test server. This can be done here:



$ twine register -u ${PYPI_TEST_USERNAME} -p ${PYPI_TEST_PASSWORD} -r dist/Copycheck-6.6.6-py3-none-any.whl


$ twine upload -u ${PYPI_TEST_USERNAME} -p ${PYPI_TEST_PASSWORD} -r dist/Copycheck-6.6.6-py3-none-any.whl



An check that everything looks nice.

You can check the HTML by running:

$ python --long-description | --no-raw > output.html

Test if it installs (do it in a different environment):

$ pip install -i copycheck

Real upload to Pypi


$ twine upload -u ${PYPI_USERNAME} -p ${PYPI_PASSWORD} -r dist/copycheck-6.6.6-py3-none-any.whl



And check that everything looks nice.


A bug thank you goes to the author of the pathspec package. Using pathspec made it a lot easier to build this tool.

Change Log

All notable changes to the copycheck tool will be documented in this file. This project adheres to [Semantic Versioning](

See for information on how to update this file.




  • Typos and formatting in README



  • Initial version



  • Initial version


  • No changes


  • No changes


  • No changes


  • No changes


  • No changes

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