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Re: Adopting: maintainer change in debian/changelog

On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 9:00 AM, Daniel Stender <daniel@danielstender.com> wrote:
> question: if I am adopting a packet, what's the procedure for altering debian/copyright (dep5)?
> Since I've learned that the "Maintainer:" field is for the upstream developer, should I just "take
> over" the copyright for "Files: debian/*"? What's with the licence itself, when it's Expat that
> should last or could it be altered - why shouldn't?

A verbose/pedantic way of looking at the altering of the
debian/copyright information for debian packaging is:

1) the original packaging is copyright the original maintainer, and is
licensed as they see fit. You keep their name, copyright, and license
in the debian/copyright file unless you delete all their original work
and totally write your own packaging from scratch.
2) all debian licenses allow for redistribution and modification, so
you can modify their work within the scope of their license.
3) your modifications are copyright you and you can license your
modifications how ever you like (as long as it is compatible with the
original packaging). Most people just keep the same license for
packaging and just add their name to the copyright (and year).
4) this continues unless you totally rewrite the packaging (removing
all previous work and your work is not derived from their work), then
it becomes solely your work and you don't need their name or license

So, as others have said, you don't "take over" the copyright as much
as contribute to the project and add your name and year to the
copyright (if you choose to license your revisions as the same license
the original maintainer did)


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