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Re: making debian/copyright machine-interpretable

On Sat, Aug 04, 2007, Florian Weimer wrote:

> It's probably better to use a separate file.  If there's a syntax
> error, you can't be sure if the file is in the old format, or if its a
> genuine error.

   But the information must be in debian/copyright. Duplicating it is
not an option.

> Copyright statements with year numbers need to be updated once per
> year, complicating merging from upstream.  Is this really worth the
> effort?  Copyright holder information is probably not very valuable
> without unique identifiers per copyright holder anyway.

   This information is required for debian/copyright, too. The proposal
just puts it in a header. Citing copyright years is not useful, but it's
probably required by law. Have you had one of your packages out of NEW
lately? :-)

> In order to automatically detect licensing violations, the files in
> the binary package would need annotations.  Annotating the source
> files is not sufficient.

   That's right, we don't know the licensing terms of binary files.
But if we stop at the "it's not sufficient" argument, we'll never get
anywhere, because it is impossible for a source package to determine the
exact licensing terms of its binary packages. I'll leave that to another


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