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Re: Rejected Package - Licence question

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

>> No, you have to remove it from the orig.tar.gz, or...
>> > - Anything else?
>> have it relicensed.
> ... which means that the upstream author has to *replace* the
> questionable section with a reference to, for example, the GPL,
> right?

Well, a signed e-mail, or a signed message on the release ftp server, in
which the upstream author says "this and that is now licensed under
different terms, namely:..." would do as well, if he doesn't want to
make a new release soon.

> Does this mean that a COPYRIGHT file in the upstream package root
> directory does not automatically apply to *all* files of the package?
> Does each and every file need to contain at least a link
> to the licence which applies to it? I mean, this could be difficult,
> at least when generated files come into play... (e.g. generated
> html documentation which is already shipped with the upstream package).

Generally, there are two options:  Either every file has a license text
in it (or often the short version pointing to the complete license), or
there is a central file that 

- lists all files covered, and
- the license they are under.

Having both at the same time doesn't harm, of course.  But I assumed
that there is no central file.  A COPYRIGHT file that says "this
software is under license FOO" is not enough, because it is unclear what
"this software" actually means.  Just have a look at the last paragraph
of the GPL text (How to Apply...).  Or just look at your package:  If
there already is a central copyright file without a filelist, assuming
that it provides license information for each file in the tarball would
contradict the information in manual.texi.

>> The best option would be to license the manual under the same license as
>> the software.  In principle, it's also possible to use a different
>> license, but that only gives people trouble when making a derivative
>> work.  If upstream insists that the documentation needs a license that's
>> specifically designed for documentation (not programs), try to persuade
>> him of the opposite, using the arguments found in -legal archive.
> I think thats not an issue, he actually asked me already if I can give
> some hints :-)

Then you should really try to persuade him to use the software's
license, because only that way it's easily possible to copy strings from
the manual to online docs, comments etc., and vice versa.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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