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Re: Empty source file with proprietary header



On Wed, 20 May 2009 13:31:06 +0200 Mehdi Dogguy wrote:

> 
> Hi all,

Hi!

> 
> While packaging a software for Debian, I found an empty file under a
> proprietary license in upstream's tarball. The file contains only the
> header which says who is the copyright holder and the license under which
> it was released. There is no source code in it, at all.

Weird.  I understand that this file is completely useless for the
building of the binary package...

> 
> I was wondering whether such file can be part of a Debian package (the
> .orig tarball)?

I don't think that non-free files may be included in a source package
targeted for main, even when they are unused for the generation of
binary packages.

The Debian Policy states that

| Every package in main must comply with the DFSG (Debian Free Software
| Guidelines). 
[see http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-archive.html#s-main]

without distinguishing between source and binary packages, hence both
of them must comply with the DFSG.

Moreover, I've seen many bug reports on the Debian BTS that were
specifically reopened because non-free files were removed from the
binary package, without removing them from the source package, as well.

Important disclaimers: IANAD, TINASOTODP.

> 
> FTM, I removed those files and made a clean dfsg tarball.

I believe that this is the Right Thing™ to do.

I hope this helps.


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