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Bug#536730: lintian: [checks/copyright-file] Overstatement about years and authors in copyright-without-copyright-notice?

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:

> I just read the following from Lintian:
> W:         copyright-without-copyright-notice
> N:                                                   Debian requires the
> N:    copyright file include the authors and years of copyright
> After checking Policy § 12.5 (Copyright information), I could not find
> such a requirement to dig in the details:

Well, as you probably noticed, the tag description from which you're
quoting doesn't reference Policy at all.  Not all references in Lintian
tags are to Policy.  The reference in this tag is to:


which in turn links to:


which says what Lintian says:

| Your debian/copyright file must contain the following information:
|  - The author(s) name
|  - The year(s) of the copyright

because that's where I copied it from.  :)

> In my understanding, if Upstream does not indicate years, then there
> is no requirement in Debian to investigate this and provide a
> complement of information. Moreover, the copyright holder is not
> necessary the author, it is often his employer, so listing the authors
> when they do not hold the copyright does not seem to be requested as
> the Lintian warning suggests.

We'll certainly change Lintian to match the contents of the REJECT FAQ
if its contents change, but at present, I believe the Lintian tag
description reflects what ftp-master's policy is.

This has recently been discussed at some length in debian-devel, which
is probably not a bad place to discuss it.  debian-policy might also
work.  Lintian intentionally doesn't set this sort of policy, only
follows policy set elsewhere.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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