Re: Bug#210779: libtunepimp1: give me the license
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003, John Hasler wrote:
> Don Armstrong writes:
> > 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 you can get a copy of GPL from the very same archive. And I would be
really surprised if Gentoo which uses some of Debian lacked one, too.
I fail to see any way to justify requiring every single package to bear a
copy of GPL without demanding that, if you make it possible to acquire
just a single file of a package, that file bore a copy of GPL as well.
This means, every single source file would have to include the full copy
of GPL (I have seen such monstrosities), and in fact, every single
_binary_ file should have the entire text of GPL embedded :p Otherwise,
you're breaking the GPL under your interpretation...
> > 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.
You still have to use dpkg. While it's no rocket science to get the
insides of a .deb file, you still need to make some effort to circumvent
the packaging system.
> > The upstream's COPYING file (or COPYRIGHT, AUTHORS, etc.) should already
> > be included in debian/copyright, unless it's some wierd usage of that
> > file.
> "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.
> If you feel strongly about the wasted bytes write a patch for dpkg to
> identify copies of the GPL and replace them with symlinks.
That wouldn't help even a bit against the space needed by the Debian
archive and it's mirrors (12k packages, multiplied by number of archs if
arch!=all, and most packages come under GPL). Also, this doesn't help to
reduce the amount of bandwidth wasted. The only possible gain would be
the disk space on the user's machine, and considering modern days disks,
conserving that space is the least important thing -- and if they happen
to have a 40MB disk, they're going to nuke both /usr/share/doc/ and
Besides, while a symlink may be different from a note in debian/copyright
from a machine's point of view, the latter is in fact more convenient for
humans (easier to tell the real GPL from modified versions, and you
don't have to skip through a lot of spam to get to any specific license
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Segmentation fault (core dumped)