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Re: License of binary packages



> How is the license of a binary Debian package determined?
> 
> The file debian/copyright only contains the license of the sources;
> however the binary license may differ -- f.e. when a BSD source is
> linked to a GPL library. Also there is usually more than one license
> used in the sources.

I'd say that it would probably be a matter of checking the license for
all of the sources that were used to make the particular binary that you
are concerned about - and then, checking the Debian dependencies for
packages which your binary links to, in case there is a GPL-like linking
clause.

> Since Debian is a binary distribution, I am wondering if there is any
> canonical way to get the license of a (binary) package?

Not that I know of, unfortunately. Hopefully someone else will have an idea.

That being said, if you distribute all packages with their sources and
dependencies (and possibly a copy of /usr/share/common-licenses), you
should probably be okay. (Of course, packages marked essential do not
need to be included in the list of dependencies, so that could be a
problem as well.)

Honestly, though, I doubt that anyone is going to take legal action over
something like this. They'd probably just ask you to change the license
notice.


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