[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Clarifying the mandatory contents of the Debian copyright file.

Peter Miller <pmiller@opensource.org.au> writes:

> My understanding is that all project files are covered, although
> wildcards are permitted.

> Each different copyright x license combination needs its own separate
> entry.

I don't think this is the case.  I see no reason why you couldn't just
have a Files: * stanza that lists the same information that you have in
debian/copyright already.  I cared enough about that question that I
raised exactly that issue on debian-project, and that's *my* understanding
of the outcome at least.

I think this property is important, since if we require that people
document way more information than is currently documented (and clearly
currently isn't necessary) in order to use DEP-5, that will get in the way
of the benefits of DEP-5, namely machine-parseable license descriptions.

> Note that "Copyright (C) 2008 Peter Miller" is different than "Copyright
> (C) 2011 Peter Miller" is different than "Copyright (C) 1991, 2012 Peter
> Miller", so the cross product is going to be substantial for long lived
> projects, even when the number of contributors is small.

I am absolutely certain that this is not the intention of DEP-5, and I
would be in favor of modifying it to make that clear if you could identify
the places where you got that mistaken impression.

> But wait, there's more.  A number of my projects have a subset of source
> files from a second underlying project source with a compatible license
> (GPL-to-GPL usually in my case) but they may have been GPL-v2+ and now I
> have released them as GPL-v3+, so we have yet another source for a
> larger license x copyright cross product.

Here, I think it would be ideal to document them, but all that you're
required to do is document the license under which you're distributing the
file.  If everything is GPL-compatible, and you're therefore using the GPL
for everything, then one Files: * stanza specifying that license is all
that's required.  In an ideal world, we'd have more because it would be
useful, but if nothing more is required by ftp-master now, I don't see any
reason why DEP-5 should change that.

> I estimate that my older and larger projects are going to have
> multi-megabyte debian/copyright files.  Hopefully they will compress
> well as they are going to be hugely (but not trivially) redundant.

> Hence, I want an automated tool.  It still gripes me that such a huge
> file is unlikely to be used by, or useful to, anyone.  And, if an
> automated tool *can* do it, why have the file at all?

You seem to be upset at things that are really not true.  Hopefully this
will help....

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

Reply to: