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Re: License requiring to reproduce copyrights in binary distributions.

Le Fri, Jul 03, 2009 at 09:10:10AM +0100, MJ Ray a écrit :
> Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> wrote:
> > It appeared in various discussions about either DEP5 or the NEW queue that
> > licenses vary in their requirement for reproducing the authors copyrights in
> > binary distributions. [...]
> I wonder if the licence requirements are the deciding factor.  With
> the increasing criminalisation of copyright infringement worldwide,
> users may need to show their local police or state agent that they
> have a valid copyright licence for any copies.  How can users do that
> reliably if the binary distributions aren't reproducing the authors'
> copyrights?

Definitely, licence requirements are not the only deciding factor, but they
provide the boundaries, that I would like to document better.

In many of the upstream original distribution of our programs, the coverage of
all the copyright statements does not reach a 100 % accuracy, and for some of
the other binary Linux distributions, this does not seem to be problematic. In
our attempt to be perfect, we actually put ourselves into a troublesome situation
where if for a version A, debian/copyright is 100 % accurate and for a version
B it is missing one name, then we are disinforming our users because we made them
rely on us instead on Upstream.

What we have to do is to comply with the license, for sure, but to what extent
do we want to substitute with Upstream's duties? Do we really want to maintain
our own list of all the Linux, KDE and Mozilla contributors? Arent'we taking a
responsability that we could avoid by not doing this if the license allows? If
Upstream maintains an AUTHORS file, I think that it would be better to ship it
and only use debian/copyright as a license summary. And of course, we can
sent patches upstream if we find people missing…

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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