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Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files

* Joerg Jaspert:

> Honestly, if you cant deal with listing the Authors/(C) holders - dont
> maintain a package. It is not much work to list them.

It is, if upstream doesn't provide such a list.  And it is my firm
belief that if upstream fails to maintain an accurate copyright record
and releases the software und a free software license, we have got
implicit permission to redistribute it without proper attribution to
individual contributors, no matter what the license says.  The same
argument applies to keeping track of changes (which is the most widely
violated GPL requirement, I guess).

And take a typical GNU project: You don't know who has effectively
assigned copyright to the FSF, so you can't reasonably claim that the
FSF is the sole copyright holder--and listing authors from the
changelog is equally wrong.

If the information is copied into the copyright file manually (I don't
think you're supposed to auto-generated debian/copyright anyway), it
will bit-rot pretty quickly.  Even now, we miss fundamental licensing
changes--for instance, the transition from GPL+BSD to BSD for pcre3.

I think an accurate copyright record is necessary to exercise free
software freedoms, but many upstreams disagree, and we have to cope
with that discrepancy somehow.  Package removal is certainly not the
answer (we shouldn't remove Iceweasel or the kernel).

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