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Re: Yearless copyrights: what do people think?

Quoting Peter Pentchev (2023-02-22 14:26:47)
> On Wed, Feb 22, 2023 at 01:55:02PM +0100, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > Quoting Peter Pentchev (2023-02-22 10:49:30)
> > > 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")
> [snip useful information]
> > As a redistributor I find it a good practice to include most possible
> > copyright and licensing information provided by upstream authors,
> > exactly because we are doing a service for our users, and it is a slight
> > disservice to omit information that upstream put effort into tracking
> > and publishing.
> Wait, I may have been unclear. I did not mean that I want to omit
> the upstream copyright years *when they are there*. And, of course,
> if upstream does not specify any copyright years, we cannot invent
> any out of thin air. So I guess my question was mainly what people
> think about dropping the years in the debian/* copyright notice
> (packaging files, patches, etc).

Your rephrased question seems the same to me - so perhaps I was

It is my inderstanding that when copyright years are missing from
upstream source then that is acceptable for Debian redistribution (i.e.
not a surprise to me that ftpmaster approves it).

It is my opinion that when copyright years do exist in upstream source,
then we should list those known-to-us years in debian/copyright (a.k.a.
not omit them a.k.a. not drop them), even though we are legally not
required¹ to do so (for the same reason as upstream above is not legally
required to state copyright at all).

 - Jonas

¹ Unless some licensing requires listing copyright *years* which from
the top of my head I do not recall having seen, but am too lazy to check
- also because my interest is not to cut corners most possible but to be
as helpful to our users as possible, and copyright years serve a real
(albeit cornercase) purpose.

* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
 * Sponsorship: https://ko-fi.com/drjones

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