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Re: Bug#227793: pgeasy has no copyright

[CC:ed to debian-legal, for sanity checking]

On Mon, Mar 08, 2004 at 12:47:54PM +0100, Martin Pitt wrote:
> On 2004-03-06 22:20 -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > While the lack of a valid copyright statement within the package is an
> > RC bug, I don't think there's any legal basis for claiming the upstream
> > source needs to include a copy of the license before we can distribute
> > it, so long as there is a clear statement from upstream that that's what
> > the license is.  The contents of /usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright can
> > easily be fixed up to reflect this.

> Well, I can alter debian/copyright to say that the website contains a
> note that it is BSD, but I doubt that this had any legal impact. If
> the website is (temporarily or permenantly) down, then no sign of a
> copyright can be seen _anywhere_. So I think I must not close the RC
> bug if I altered debian/copyright, right? Also, Policy 2.3 forbids
> distribution of a software without a copyright statement.

If the website is down, how would anyone be able to verify that your
.orig.tar.gz is pristine source, either?  My guess is that they would
not.  The legal difference between a copy of the license included in the
tarball by upstream, and a copy of the license copied from the website
into debian/copyright by the maintainer, is therefore nil in such a
case; either the copyright holder acknowledges the validity of the
license, and there is no problem, or the copyright holder claims they
did not issue a license, in which case you have the same defense against
claims of willful copyright infringement.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you update debian/copyright to
reflect the actual license of this work, regardless of whether that
license is currently included in the tarball, and close the RC bug

> When the current postgresql finally goes into sarge (I will make an
> updated upload today or tomorrow), it will be possible to remove
> pgeasy. I pinged its upstream author (who promised to change that
> weeks ago) and will do it again, but in the light of the upcoming
> freeze I will ask for removing pgeasy if upstream does not release an
> update. Would you agree to this?

I don't understand this.  Currently, the pgeasy source package *only*
exists in unstable.  If you want to remove pgeasy, why would this need
to wait for a new postgresql package in testing?  And is this
trivially-solvable RC bug your only reason for requesting removal?  You
are the maintainer, so it's your prerogative to request the package's
removal, but from the bug log I can't see any legal reasons why that
would be necessary.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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