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Re: Missing license info in source files - fixed in upstream svn

Paul Cager <paul-debian@home.paulcager.org> writes:
> But Ben Finney said:

>> No, there needs to be an explicit grant of license explaining what
>> terms apply, and exactly which files comprise the work being licensed.

> I'm not sure I understand; would a "COPYING" file stating "this project
> is licensed under..." be acceptable?

In practice, there's so much software out there that just provides a
license in the README file and no separate notices in each file that I
don't think you're going out on much of a limb by assuming that any files
that don't say otherwise are covered by the copyright and license in the
general README file.

If you want to try to convince upstream to use better discipline about
marking each file, that's certainly fine, but I doubt it makes any real
difference given past precedent.

You do need to be careful of packages that just drop the GPL COPYING file
into the distribution but don't mention a license anywhere else in the
distribution.  Some packages like that have, in the past, not actually
been under the GPL.  Upstream sometimes does dumb things, like put COPYING
in the distribution just to satisfy Automake.  Unless there's some
statement written by the author specifying what the package license is,
it's probably worth seeking clarification.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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