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Re: copyright precision

Quoting Ian Jackson (2016-08-16 15:32:19)
> Andreas Tille writes ("Re: copyright precision"):
>> On Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 10:59:09AM +0500, Andrey Rahmatullin wrote:
>>> It's at least worth a discussion whether nitpicking at d/copyright 
>>> is really helping the package quality at all, and if it's worth it.
>> I would be interested in having numbers how frequently a d/copyright 
>> file is accessed by users (should be possible to do via popcon 
>> techniques).
> Anecdata:
> Yesterday I looked at the copyright file for a package[1] I was 
> considering using in an AGPLv3+ project, in order to check whether the 
> package's licence was AGPLv3-compatible.
> This approach wasn't successful.  It was hard to determine the 
> effective licence of the package by looking in debian/copyright, 
> because debian/copyright was a portmanteau of copies of various 
> different licences.
> In the end up looked at the package's upstream web pages, which
> contained a clear answer to the question.

How was the approach¹ not successful?  Didn't you succeed in realizing 
that the package you looked at had complex licensing?

Would you have called it succesful if same package had simply told you 
"AGPL-3+" instead?

Reason I ask like that is that in my understanding, some in this thread 
sugges that Debian should do only what is legally required, which 
arguably is what e.g. Fedora is practising (because they have legally 
survived with that pracice, even if technically way too superficial).

Let's take a concrete example, with name (I maintain that package, so
blame me for any faults!):

Ghostscript ships with a LICENSE file of 70 lines, stating that main 
parts are AGPL-3+, most fonts are AGPL-3+ with an exception, and various 
other details.

Ghostscript packaged for Debian has a debian/copyright file with ~400 
lines enumerating which source files are covered by which license (and 
then another ~800 lines covering the actual licenses verbatim).

Fedora apparently covers the Ghostscript license in a single line: 
"AGPLv3+ and Redistributable, no modification permitted".

 - Jonas

¹ I understandt that you failed in getting the _result_ you hoped for.

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private

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