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What criteria does ftpmaster use for the ‘copyright’ file of a package? (was: python-daemon_1.4.6-1_amd64.changes REJECTED)

Howdy Chris,

I'm copying this discussion to ‘debian-devel’, since I think it has
direct bearing on the recent discussions about trying to figure out
the actual requirements for the contents of the ‘copyright’ file.

On 27-Aug-2009, Chris Lamb wrote:
> I'm rejecting your package from NEW because your debian/copyright
> doesn't contain the "Copyright (C) blah blah" text along with the
> licenses.

This is true; the package as originally uploaded had copyright notices
preserved in the source, but not duplicated into the ‘copyright’ file.

I'm rather confused by events subsequent to this rejection notice.

My response was to Chris only (to the ftpmaster address), giving my
understanding that Debian Policy §12.5 requires only the verbatim
copyright *license terms*, not the duplication of copyright *notices*,
to be in the ‘copyright’ file; and asking for clarification on their

I didn't get a direct response to that message, and I didn't upload
another release of the package. However, a few hours later I then saw
further traffic indicating the package had been uploaded again,
presumably by the sponsor (David Watson), and then that subsequent
upload was accepted:

On 28-Aug-2009, Archive Administrator wrote:
> Accepted:
> python-daemon_1.4.6-1.diff.gz
>   to pool/main/p/python-daemon/python-daemon_1.4.6-1.diff.gz
> python-daemon_1.4.6-1.dsc
>   to pool/main/p/python-daemon/python-daemon_1.4.6-1.dsc
> python-daemon_1.4.6-1_all.deb
>   to pool/main/p/python-daemon/python-daemon_1.4.6-1_all.deb
> python-daemon_1.4.6.orig.tar.gz
>   to pool/main/p/python-daemon/python-daemon_1.4.6.orig.tar.gz

When I look at the ‘copyright’ file for that package
it doesn't match anything I know.

It's not the file I have in my packaging VCS, so by default it will be
overridden by any future upload; that's probably a matter for David
and me to sort out between us.

It also doesn't match the copyright notices as found in the original
source; those are rather more complex, and are different across
different files. But the *license* terms are correct as stated in the
file, as they always have been, since they are unchanged from the
original upload of the package.

In other words, the only difference between a package that was
rejected and a package that was accepted is the addition to the
‘copyright’ file of some copyright notices that don't match the
original source.

So I don't understand the reasoning for rejecting a package that has
the copyright notices intact in the source, but not duplicated into
the ‘copyright’ file; and then accepting a package that is identical
except for additional copyright notices in ‘copyright’ that don't
match the original source.

This isn't the first time I've been confounded by ftpmaster policy on
this file. Exactly what is it that needs to be in the copyright file
for ftpmaster to accept it, and what is the reasoning for that beyond
what is in Debian Policy?

 \      “The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that |
  `\   the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked |
_o__)                   and he has not been caught.” —Henry L. Mencken |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>

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