Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files
Neil Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> We also need clarity on why debian/copyright should have a higher level
> of scrutiny than the upstream itself. Debian does not hold copyright on
> most upstream source packages, why do we second-guess upstream teams?
It's worth noting here that most upstreams distribute only source, and
hence rely on the fact that the source carries the licenes and the
copyright statement and they don't have to do anything special with it.
When we compile that software and distribute only the binaries as a
separate package, we've stripped off, say, a BSD license statement and its
corresponding copyright statement from where upstream put it, and we do,
under the license, have to preserve that somewhere in our derived work,
including the corresponding copyright notice. If upstream has a bunch of
files under various varients of the BSD license, we are required by those
licenses to preserve all of those notices in the binary package.
This much is a very valid point which I was vaguely aware of but hadn't
really thought about before this thread.
Yes, in practice, it's very unlikely that anyone's going to sue anyone
over this, and it's probably not *that* big of a deal if we don't do it,
but I do agree that we should follow licenses as written even if no one's
going to sue us if we don't.
> Is it acceptable to mimic the actual copyright holders and say: "and
> anyone else we might have forgotten"? If not, why not?
I do agree that if upstream distributes a file with a license statement
like (from INN):
Copyright (c) 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
by Internet Systems Consortium, Inc. ("ISC")
Copyright (c) 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003 by The Internet Software Consortium and Rich Salz
This code is derived from software contributed to the Internet Software
Consortium by Rich Salz.
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND ISC DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH
REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL ISC BE LIABLE FOR ANY
SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES
WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN
ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF
OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
we can just copy that notice, ignoring the fact that ISC doesn't do
copyright assignment and the actual copyrights are held by way more
different people than are explicitly mentioned there. I don't think
there's any utility in duplicating the INN CONTRIBUTORS file in
> Agreed - except copyright holder details change *far* more frequently
> than licences.
Yes. That's a lot of what makes accumulating copyright notices so
Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>