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Re: GPL v1 files

Noel David Torres Taño <envite@rolamasao.org> writes:

> El Monday 25 August 2008 07:24:12 Ben Finney escribió:
> > Great, thank you for taking on this task.
> I think it is my duty as the new package maintainer.

Agreed. I'm thanking you for taking on that duty; it isn't a glamorous
one, but it is necessary.

> > What we need for each work is an explicit grant of license from
> > the copyright holder. If there is good reason to believe that we
> > have that for particular works, then you can copy that exact text
> > into your 'debian/copyright' as the grant of license for those
> > particular works.
> > 
> Well, how to do that exactly?
> For example, some icons come from a page in which the author says:
> "The icons are distibuted under the GNU General Public Licence, Version 2, June 1991."
> Must I copy exactly this phrase?

The 'debian/copyright' must contain the written explicit license
grant, from the copyright holder, for all works in the package. So,
yes, the above grant of license needs to be copied into

> or can I simply say
> Files: icons/Paul/*
> Copyright: Copyright Paul Emsley <paule@chem.gla.ac.uk>
> Note: Copyright year unknown, seems to be 1997, most probably before
>       1999 (included)
> License: GPL-2
>          granted at http://www.chem.gla.ac.uk/~paule/WindowMaker/
>          copy at http://rolamasao.org/wmaker-data/Paul/
> instead?

No, that's not sufficient, because that URL could show something
different at some arbitrary point in time after you release the
package, and then its 'debian/copyright' would be wrong retroactively.

You need to show, in the 'debian/copyright', the grant of license
under which you are acting as a redistributor of the work at a certain
point in time.

> And how to do about Marcelo's own files? Check the package at etch
> to see the exact copyright file I found. No year, no explicit grant
> and no version number (which is what started this thread).

Ideally you would get explicit license grant from Marcelo directly, if
he is contactable, or from something you have good reason to believe
that he wrote in the past.

Failing that, you could take his words as written in the packaging
work he did for Debian, and the year in which he released the package,
as a statement about his intent for his work. You will probably want
to make an attempt to determine how robust those words are as a grant
of license for the work; best to ask specifically about this on
<debian-legal@lists.debian.org> and quote the text that you're asking

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Ben Finney

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