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

* Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> [070706 17:46]:
> > 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.

One still should do the usual minimal coherency checks. If for example
files have a different author or copyright holder specified or look
totally out of style, its better to search the web for those files
and/or seek for clarification.

> 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.

Another case often enough gotten wrong are things like icons, which are
often just copied around. Its better to ask upstream explicitly about
them[1]. Or if it is a package were upstream is no longer available, doing
a quick google check for those file's md5sums for an explicit hint
if they are from other sources.

	Bernhard R. Link

[1] After all, you should contact upstream anyway, as an very important
part of maintaining a package should be communicating about bugs,
user supplied patches, your own patches, ...

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