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Re: Yearless copyrights: what do people think?

Daniel Baumann <daniel.baumann@progress-linux.org> writes:
> On 2/22/23 14:26, Peter Pentchev wrote:

>> Wait, I may have been unclear. I did not mean that I want to omit the
>> upstream copyright years *when they are there*.

> I know you didn't mean that, nevertheless, it's imho good idea.

Unfortunately, it's often against the upstream license.

    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
    modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
    are met:
    1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.


    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
    included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

The Apache 2.0 license only requires the copyright notices be preserved in
"Source form," so debian/copyright probably doesn't count.  (It instead
requires inclusion of the NOTICE file, but allows you to distribute it
"within the Source form or documentation, if provided along with the
Derivative Works," which we probably qualify for.)

The GPL doesn't seem to care about the notice in non-source forms.

In practice, I doubt anyone will care, and it's of course fine to omit the
year from your own copyright notices as long as you realize that means you
cannot take advantage of the damage provisions of US copyright law that
require you to publish a valid copyright notice (which I suspect no one
cares about).  But dropping the copyright dates from the upstream notices
I think would often technically violate the upstream license depending on
its wording.

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

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