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Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files

>>> The real problem here is that FTP masters require the list of copyright
>>> holders to be up-to-date each time the package goes through NEW.
>>> Whatever justification exists for this requirement, I???m starting to find
>>> it unacceptable. If a package has to go through NEW, it takes about
>>> twice as much time to update this list than to do the actual packaging
>>> work.
>>> Why is this list needed? 
>> Often the license requires it.  For instance the BSD license says,
>> "Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright".

Even the GPL tells you to. § 4. Conveying Verbatim Copies (which is then
mentioned in the source/binary paragraphs):
  You may convey verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you
receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and
appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice;
keep intact all notices stating that this License and any
non-permissive terms added in accord with section 7 apply to the code;
keep intact all notices of the absence of any warranty; and give all
recipients a copy of this License along with the Program.

>> To me, it seems like since one has to go through all of the source files
>> anyway, creating a list of copyright holders while you are doing it is a
>> trivial task.  I don't see why making this list takes any time at all
>> really.  Unless you are not actually looking at the code you upload,
>> which would worry me for other reasons as well.
>         I think it means what is says. The *ABOVE* copyright notice must
>  be reproduced. That does not mean you have to hunt down every person
>  with a Signed-Off-By header in the log, or every person who made an
>  more than 10 line (non-trivial) patch submission to the project (and
>  yes, most of these people also hold copyright -- how are you gonna find
>  out all such names?)

No. It is not up to the Debian maintainer to decide that some
contributor has written enough of the code to also be mentioned in the
(C) lines in a particular file. But as soon as upstream lists them
either in a file header or the AUTHORS file the Debian maintainer has to
copy that information into debian/copyright.

>         Frankly, at this point, I am not seeing a need to track down or
>  verify the completeness of my list of copyright holders, since it is
>  almost impossible to do so, or very time consuming, and I see limited
>  returns for time invested.

We do not require people to wade through $VCS commit logs or mailinglist
threads to find out who wrote each single line of code.

We require, and have seen nothing to convince us otherwise, that Debian
maintainers need to do the basic work of listing each copyright holder in
debian/copyright, as seen in the source files and AUTHORS list or
equivalent (if any).

bye, Joerg
>  I. What would you do if a package has no sane default configuration?
>     (There is *no* default configuration that works on most systems!)
   The best thing to do would be to add such a default configuration.
[... ARGS ...]

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