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Re: Bug#885698: What licenses should be included in /usr/share/common-licenses?

On Tue, Sep 12, 2023 at 10:49:02AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> To take an example that I've been trying to get rid of for over a decade,
> many of the /usr/share/common-licenses/BSD references currently in the
> archive are incorrect.  There are a few cases where the code is literally
> copyrighted only by the Regents of the University of California and uses
> exactly that license text, but this is not the case for a lot of them.  It
> looks like a few people have even tried to say "use common-licenses but
> change the name in the license" rather than reproducing the license text,
> which I don't believe meets the terms of the license (although it's of
> course very unlikely that anyone would sue over it).

Note that my proposal makes detecting the discrepancy more visible rather
than less, since you can compare the generated copyright file with
the actual license statement without chasing files.

Also, overengineering aside, the copyright generator could support 
parameter substitution to accomodate small discrepancies in license.
For example an option to replace in /usr/share/common-licenses/BSD the
"Copyright (c) The Regents of the University of California."
by whatever is required when generating DEBIAN/copyright.


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