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Re: Rejected Package - Licence question

Andreas Fester <Andreas.Fester@gmx.de> writes:

> > have it relicensed.
> ... which means that the upstream author has to *replace* the
> questionable section with a reference to, for example, the GPL,
> right?

There needs to be a statement in each copyrighted file stating the
license granted to the recipient. If that statement refers to license
terms in a separate document, that document should be distributed with
the file.

Debian packages must have a 'copyright' file that contains the
complete license terms for all files in the package, or (in the case
of license terms distributed as part of Debian) refer to a specific
file in '/usr/share/common-licenses/'.

> Does this mean that a COPYRIGHT file in the upstream package root
> directory does not automatically apply to *all* files of the package?

That's correct. The presence of a license text does not imply a grant
of license under those terms.

> Does each and every file need to contain at least a link
> to the licence which applies to it?

For every copyrighted thing in the package, there needs to be a clear
and unambiguous statement of copyright (with year and name) and grant
of license under specific terms. The best place to do that is in the
source file, somewhere obvious such as near the top.

The license terms don't need to be copied in each file, but it needs
to be clear which license terms apply to each file.

> I mean, this could be difficult, at least when generated files come
> into play...

Generated files are, by definition, not the source code of the work;
in the case of the GPL, they are not "the preferred form of the work
for making modifications to it". Some other license texts don't define
"source code", but that's still a pretty good working definition.

You must ship the source files and make it possible for recipients to
re-generate any non-source files needed; since you're doing that, you
may as well not ship the generated files in the source package but
allow them to be built from 'debian/rules'.

 \      "I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer |
  `\                     thinks he can get me five."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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