debian/copyright contents (was: RFC libapp-control-perl)
David Bremner <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Discussion with/between Damyan and Tincho on #debian-perl pretty much
> convinced me that policy 12.5 requires debian/copyright to list all
> authors, not just copyright holders.
Please note that the intention of Policy here is not to require you to do
substantial work that isn't required legally. If the upstream source
doesn't say who wrote the software, I don't think we're required to do
detective work in order to package it provided there's no reason not to
believe its license.
Similarly, to touch on a previous discussion topic, all that 12.5 says is
that the package copyright statement needs to be preserved. If the
package has no explicit copyright statement, I don't believe we have to go
find and create one. An explicit copyright statement is *not* required by
either US copyright law or the international Berne convention. I don't
think that Debian has to be stricter.
The goal here is to tell maintainers to take the relevant information from
upstream and include it in debian/copyright, not to do excessive
additional book-keeping that upstream isn't doing. Some upstream packages
(INN or the Linux kernel come to mind) have hundreds or thousands of
authors and upstream doesn't track them in detail through the entire
history of the project. Debian doesn't need to either.
If, of course, the information *is* readily available, then by all means
I'm planning on raising some of these topics on debian-devel, as there are
some wishlist bugs against lintian around enforcing copyright statements
that I think are inappropriate and would like to build a consensus around
Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>