Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files
On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 08:42:12PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Could you explain to me how the lack of those two things is a possible
> DFSG problem? I assume that this is based on the first, but that seems
> like quite a stretch to me. The same assurance, for what good there is in
> it, could be drived from a statement in debian/copyright saying "I checked
> every file in this package for DFSG licensing problems."
Okay, just to get it straight. I have made it clear that the copyright proposal
makes no pronouncements about how it should be used. We are only discussing the
orthogonal topic of how much information to include in this file, regardless of
whatever format the package uses.
I am not convinced either way, because my packages are probably relatively small
compared to some. This has been an interesting discussion primarily because we
have had the opportunity to shake out arguments from both sides.
Having said that, I am thinking that fully documenting the license of each file
provides a handy way to ensure that developers are thoroughly checking the
package for licensing problems. It is not inconceivable that we could add a
lintian check which does some fuzzy guesswork to see if it can spot any probably
missed files based on parsing the debian/copyright file. It could also prove
handy to the FTP masters who wish to check the quality of work.
> Also, no, I definitely do not think that a possible DFSG problem is an RC
> bug. I think that an *actual* DFSG problem is an RC bug. A possible DFSG
> problem is only a possible RC bug. Surely this is obvious?
Sure thing. My point was that not checking every file seems like sloppy work to
me, for a distribution that places such an emphasis on licensing, and can lead
to many problems. I have been the unfortunate victim of my own laziness in this
regard, so at least I am speaking from guilty experience.
Regardless of format, caveat a machine readable format being available to
lintian for some rudimentary checks, a requirement for developers to document
the licensing checks in debian/copyright could (not would) go a long way towards
preventing DFSG problems in future uploads. Preventative measures seem a lot
better than reactionary ones in this regard.
Noah Slater, http://tumbolia.org/nslater