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Re: Bug#210779: libtunepimp1: give me the license



[Followups set.]

On Sun, Sep 14, 2003 at 09:46:03PM -0500, John Hasler wrote:
> > Debian distributes packages as part of the Debian distribution, not
> > (really) as parts intended to be used on their own.
> 
> Fetching individual packages is the canonical way of getting them.  DSAs
> specifically suggest doing so, and some programs are available only from
> the Debian archive.

And Debian always provides the source packages as well.

> > If people wish to circumvent the tools which enforce this consensus...
> 
> I know of no such tools.  Ftp and http work just fine, without requiring
> any circumvention at all.

It is perfectly possible to retrieve GPL-licensed binary code without a copy of
its license text, even from the Free Software Foundation.  An exchange long ago
in IRC illustrated this:

  <Manoj> lftp ftp.gnu.org
  <Manoj> cd /bin
  <aj> Manoj: no, don't do it!!!
  <Manoj> get ls
  <Manoj> 29404 bytes transferred in 1 second (21.5K/s)
  <Manoj> the FSF has abandoned me, where are my rights?
  <Manoj> can I sue them for GPL violation?

> You can do what you want.  However, every one of my GPL licensed packages
> contains GPL licensed work of which I am author and I want my license to
> accompany it.

It will and should, in the source package.  Debian binary packages are
intended to be installed to Debian systems, all of which contain a copy
of the GNU GPL which corresponds to your software.

> "COPYING" is the name commonly applied by authors to the file containing
> the GPL.  It belongs in usr/share/doc/<package>.  It most certainly does
> not belong in debian/copyright.

I disagree.  Providing a single copy in /usr/share/common-licenses for
Debian binary packages is perfectly adequate.

> If you feel strongly about the wasted bytes write a patch for dpkg to
> identify copies of the GPL and replace them with symlinks.

Your viewpoint appears to be a minority one.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    I must confess to being surprised
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    by the magnitude of incompatibility
branden@debian.org                 |    with such a minor version bump.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Manoj Srivastava

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