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Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files

On Fri, Mar 20 2009, Noah Slater wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 03:55:30PM +0100, Mike Hommey wrote:
>> That you actually felt stroing enough to type twice, which pissed me off.
>> See <[🔎] 20090320111658.GD7247@tumbolia.org> if you don't remember suggesting
>> to maintain a different package.
> Well, there are only three solutions, and I have suggested them all.

> If you find the current work a burden, you could maintain a different
> package, try to find collaborators, or lobby to get policy changed. I
> wasn't suggesting any were preferable, or that you hadn't tried. I
> really don't care either way.  My goal was to draw the focus away from
> the copyright proposal, which is only codifying existing policy.

        I have reviewed what current policy says. If I am not mistaken,
 the bulk of it is below. Now, we have two terms:
 o)  copyright and distribution license --- which I do not see as calling
                  upon us to name every copyright holder;
 o)  It should name the original authors -- which, in my view, is
     distinct from every subsequent contributor. This can bea matter of
     subjective interpretation, though.

        Now, none of the current policy states anything about trawling
 through every file and trying to ascertain who might be a copyright
 holder, and listing them in ./debian/copyright. I have some files where
 comments have evidence of changes made by people, who left their name
 in the comments to claim responsibility, I guess.  While reading every
 comment in every file to get the name of the author of a snippet might
 be laudable, it is not very practical.

        Now, some of the objections you have heard is because of the
 hard line you have been taking in this discussion about  looking for
 and adding copyright holders is not, as far as I can see, reflected in
 current policy.

        And telling people they are doing a bad job and need to either
 shape up or change policy does not actually seem to be corroborated by
 policy, unless I am missing chunks.

        BTW, to your list of solutions, I can add another one:
 + realize this is busy work with little value in the common case, and
   prefer to spend time otherwise improving the package.


     Every package must be accompanied by a verbatim copy of its copyright
     and distribution license in the file
     `/usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright'.  This file must neither be
     compressed nor be a symbolic link.

     In addition, the copyright file must say where the upstream sources
     (if any) were obtained.  It should name the original authors of the
     package and the Debian maintainer(s) who were involved with its

     Packages in the _contrib_ or _non-free_ archive areas should state in
     the copyright file that the package is not part of the Debian
     GNU/Linux distribution and briefly explain why.

     A copy of the file which will be installed in
     `/usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright' should be in `debian/copyright'
     in the source package.

     `/usr/share/doc/<package>' may be a symbolic link to another directory
     in `/usr/share/doc' only if the two packages both come from the same
     source and the first package Depends on the second.  These rules are
     important because copyrights must be extractable by mechanical means.

     Packages distributed under the UCB BSD license, the Apache license
     (version 2.0), the Artistic license, the GNU GPL (version 2 or 3), the
     GNU LGPL (versions 2, 2.1, or 3), and the GNU FDL (version 1.2) should
     refer to the corresponding files under
     `/usr/share/common-licenses',[1] rather than quoting them in the
     copyright file.

     You should not use the copyright file as a general `README' file.  If
     your package has such a file it should be installed in
     `/usr/share/doc/<package>/README' or `README.Debian' or some other
     appropriate place.

Two cars in every pot and a chicken in every garage.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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