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Re: Fortune package and copyright

Aurelien Jarno <aurelien@aurel32.net>:

> I have packaged an unofficial Debian package containing French fortunes 
> cookies, and I'd like to upload it into the Debian archive.
> For that, I have to verify the copyright is compliant which the DFSG, but 
> there is either no copyright, or "presumed to be in public domain".
> On debian-user-french, I have been told that each fortune itself is a 
> quotation, and it this legal to include it, as long as it is no longer 
> than 4 lines. However, the source package itself, which includes all the 
> fortunes, needs a copyright from the person which has compiled that.
> Could anybody confirm that, so I can contact each author and ask him for 
> a correct copyright file ?

IANAL. You don't need permission to use a short quotation, but yes, a
compilation has its own copyright so you should get the person who did
the compilation to add a licence or make the compilaton public domain.
I think the latter would be most appropriate, so they could write the
following, for example:

The quotations included in this package are excerpts from larger works
and their reproduction is believed to constitute "fair use". This
collection of quotations was created by ... and others and is placed
in the public domain.


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