Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files
On Fri, Mar 20 2009, Noah Slater wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 03:55:30PM +0100, Mike Hommey wrote:
>> That you actually felt stroing enough to type twice, which pissed me off.
>> See <20090320111658.GD7247@tumbolia.org> if you don't remember suggesting
>> to maintain a different package.
> Well, there are only three solutions, and I have suggested them all.
> If you find the current work a burden, you could maintain a different
> package, try to find collaborators, or lobby to get policy changed. I
> wasn't suggesting any were preferable, or that you hadn't tried. I
> really don't care either way. My goal was to draw the focus away from
> the copyright proposal, which is only codifying existing policy.
I have reviewed what current policy says. If I am not mistaken,
the bulk of it is below. Now, we have two terms:
o) copyright and distribution license --- which I do not see as calling
upon us to name every copyright holder;
o) It should name the original authors -- which, in my view, is
distinct from every subsequent contributor. This can bea matter of
subjective interpretation, though.
Now, none of the current policy states anything about trawling
through every file and trying to ascertain who might be a copyright
holder, and listing them in ./debian/copyright. I have some files where
comments have evidence of changes made by people, who left their name
in the comments to claim responsibility, I guess. While reading every
comment in every file to get the name of the author of a snippet might
be laudable, it is not very practical.
Now, some of the objections you have heard is because of the
hard line you have been taking in this discussion about looking for
and adding copyright holders is not, as far as I can see, reflected in
And telling people they are doing a bad job and need to either
shape up or change policy does not actually seem to be corroborated by
policy, unless I am missing chunks.
BTW, to your list of solutions, I can add another one:
+ realize this is busy work with little value in the common case, and
prefer to spend time otherwise improving the package.
Every package must be accompanied by a verbatim copy of its copyright
and distribution license in the file
`/usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright'. This file must neither be
compressed nor be a symbolic link.
In addition, the copyright file must say where the upstream sources
(if any) were obtained. It should name the original authors of the
package and the Debian maintainer(s) who were involved with its
Packages in the _contrib_ or _non-free_ archive areas should state in
the copyright file that the package is not part of the Debian
GNU/Linux distribution and briefly explain why.
A copy of the file which will be installed in
`/usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright' should be in `debian/copyright'
in the source package.
`/usr/share/doc/<package>' may be a symbolic link to another directory
in `/usr/share/doc' only if the two packages both come from the same
source and the first package Depends on the second. These rules are
important because copyrights must be extractable by mechanical means.
Packages distributed under the UCB BSD license, the Apache license
(version 2.0), the Artistic license, the GNU GPL (version 2 or 3), the
GNU LGPL (versions 2, 2.1, or 3), and the GNU FDL (version 1.2) should
refer to the corresponding files under
`/usr/share/common-licenses', rather than quoting them in the
You should not use the copyright file as a general `README' file. If
your package has such a file it should be installed in
`/usr/share/doc/<package>/README' or `README.Debian' or some other
Two cars in every pot and a chicken in every garage.
Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>
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