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Re: Yearless copyrights: what do people think?

On February 22, 2023 9:49:30 AM UTC, Peter Pentchev <roam@ringlet.net> wrote:
>So I've seen this idea floating around in the past couple of years
>(and in some places even earlier), but I started doing it for
>the couple of pieces of software that I am upstream for after reading
>Daniel Stenberg's blog entry:
>  https://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2023/01/08/copyright-without-years/
>And then, a couple of weeks ago, I quietly checked whether
>the Debian FTP team would be okay with that by uploading two NEW
>packages without any years mentioned in the debian/copyright file:
>either upstream or for my Debian packaging. And, lo and behold,
>they were both accepted (python-parse-stages and python-test-stages).
>So how do people feel about this in general, would it be okay for
>me to start doing it:
>a) for other packages that I maintain personally, outside any team
>b) for team-maintained packages (I guess this one might be a per-team
>   decision, discussed separately on the appropriate lists)
>(obviously, I'm not asking for permission or anything; apparently
> at least one member of the FTP team is okay with me doing it at
> least for some packages. This is more of a "float the idea, see
> what people think about doing this more widely, not just me")
>Thanks for reading this far, and keep up the great work!

You may be conflating two separate things here.  The job of debian/copyright is to document the copyright and license claims.  Although there are exceptional cases, FTP Team doesn't normally review the correctness of the claims (an example of an exception is a copyright claim that includes the source that the code was copied from before the copyright claim was changed - yes, this happens).  I don't think you should assume acceptance of a package without years implies any particular judgement about if the practice is good or bad.

Scott K
P.S. Please don't turn this into yet another thread about how annoying having to spend time on debian/copyright is.  We know.

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