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Re: copyright vs. license

On Wed, Jan 12, 2005 at 12:52:06PM -0500, Justin Pryzby wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've been manually filing bugs against packages with improper
> copyright files, as per this thread:
>   http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/03/msg02190.html

The example here is not a good one. While it's not desperately
important for a package licensed entirely under the GPL, in general
you should include the license declaration from upstream in the
copyright file verbatim.

For a GPLed project, the declaration looks something like this:

 *   Copyright (C) Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org>
 *   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
 *   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
 *   the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
 *   (at your option) any later version.
 *   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
 *   but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
 *   GNU General Public License for more details.
 *   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
 *   along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
 *   Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA

And *then* you include either a reference to the license (for stuff in
common-licenses) or a copy of the license itself.

If your project doesn't contain a statement along the lines of the
above then somebody forgot to license it at all. If they also included
a copy of the GPL in the project tree then they need kicking until
they read the instructions at the bottom of it. Most of the stock
license texts don't contain anything like this (key points: names of
copyright holders, stuff covered by the license ("this program"),
reference to the license text itself).

This is extremely important for packages covered by multiple licenses.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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