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Re: including complete corresponding licence information should stay a requirement (was Re: Debian Policy released)

Thorsten Glaser <tg@debian.org> writes:
> Sean Whitton dixit:

>>2.3 & 4.5
>>    In cases where a package's distribution license explicitly permits
>>    its copyright information to be excluded from distributions of
>>    binaries built from the source, a verbatim copy of the package's
>>    copyright information should normally still be included in the
>>    copyright file, but it need not be if creating and maintaining a
>>    copy of that information involves significant time and effort.

> I quite disagree. Downstreams will require the licence information,
> and if it’s included in the source package, it’s easy enough to add
> it to the binary package, and if not, the above does not apply either.

Hi Thorsten,

Just a procedural note here: ftp-master is the responsible team for the
minimum standards in debian/copyright files, and there has been a very
long-standing desire to align Policy with the actual practices of the
ftp-master team to avoid confusion.  This change was made in large part
towards that end, and was based on guidance from ftp-master, specifically:

| 4.  The FTP team believes that documenting copyright holders in
| debian/copyright is a good idea.  If policy were modified to make it
| along the lines of SHALL if the license does not explicitly allow it to
| be left out of binary distributions and SHOULD in all other cases, the
| FTP team believes this would be a good change make maintainer's efforts
| easier when a package license allows for it.

(Quoted in the start of https://bugs.debian.org/912581.)

I'm not sure if you're objecting to how that guidance was worded in Policy
(in which case we can certainly fix it if we can come up with clearer
language), or the substance of that advice.

If the latter, this of course doesn't mean that you shouldn't object if
you feel it's wrong.  It does mean, though, that you're probably going to
need to convince ftp-master that their practices are wrong here for it to
make sense to revert this change on the Policy side.  Otherwise, we would
be going back to having Policy say one thing but having the standards for
the archive be something else entirely, something that we all have been
collectively unhappy about for probably at least a decade.  I think
there's a pretty strong consensus for keeping the wording of Policy in
tighter alignment with what ftp-master actually requires.

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

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