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Re: debian/copyright verbosity

On Tue, 14 Apr 2009 09:45:19 +1000
Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> wrote:

> Matthias Julius <lists@julius-net.net> writes:
> > In the light of the recent discussion about debian/copyright on -devel
> > I am wondering how verbose it actually needs to be.  Given the
> > following files:

> > or even further to:
> > 
> >  Files: *.c
> >  Copyright: 2006, 2008 Mr. X
> >  Copyright: 2005 Mr. Y
> >  License: GPL2+

Is perfectly fine and very commonly used syntax across Debian main.
> Neither of these are true statements of the copyright; 

I cannot see how that is a sustainable position. It is perfectly
acceptable to collate copyright statements for files under the same
licence. Every package does it to one degree or another.

> you have
> *altered* the copyright claim so that it now makes a false claim (e.g.,
> you now state that ‘bar.c’ is “Copyright 2006 Mr. X”, which is
> contrary to what the original source claims).

It's not altering copyright at all, the copyright is as-is,
debian/copyright contains the copyright statement and the fact that
such statements apply to files in the source. Copyright statements are
different to licence statements, there is no need to uniquely separate
every single copyright statement, there is particularly no need to
repeat copyright statements to cover all possible permutations.

> I don't think it's acceptable to make false copyright claims in the
> ‘debian/copyright’ file.

Neither do I, but collating copyright statements is NOT the same thing
as making a false copyright statement!

There is no way I'm going through my packages to separate out all the
Copyright statements on a per file basis and I think it's wrong to
declare that not doing such would be a false copyright claim on this


Neil Williams

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