Re: Copyright: in d/copyright - Questions about writing copyright info
Jongmin Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> I'm new to packaging, and I am currently trying to write 'd/copyright'
> file. I am watching some other repositories for studying the
> I can see that some packages have an upstream author's URL in their
> 'Copyright:', like 'Copyright: https://github.com/authorname'.
> Even though the upstream source has their explicit copyright
> information--like 'year name'-- in copyright file--like 'LICENSE.txt'.
That is IMO not a valid copyright statement. So it doesn't belong in the
There is already an appropriate field, “Source”, where the URL for the
upstream source can be declared.
> Now I have some questions:
> - Is it a one of the conventions? Can I write like that?
The “Machine-readable debian/copyright file” specification allows
free-form text in the “Copyright” field.
With that said, in my opinion you should strongly prefer the canonical
form for each copyright statement:
Copyright © MMMM–NNNN ENTITYNAME <CONTACTEMAIL>
with “MMMM–NNNN” being the range of years the work was published;
“ENTITYNAME” the legal name for the entity that holds copyright in the
work; “CONTACTEMAIL” the contact email address, if known, for that
Various accommodations need to be made for different circumstances (e.g.
often a work has copyright held by a number of legal entities, so
“ENTITYNAME and others” might be appropriate).
> - Why use only the author's URL instead of the author's copyright
> information like 'Copyright: year name <email>'?
There are no circumstances IMO where it's appropriate to replace any of
that information with a GitHub URL.
> - Is there a d/copyright guideline to read?
Yes, install the ‘debian-copyright’ package and you will have the
current specification installed. It is a document in plain text and HTML,
> This might be a silly question, of newcomer (= me).
It's not a silly question. Thank you for working to get this right!
\ “One of the most important things you learn from the internet |
`\ is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It's just an awful lot of |
_o__) ‘us’.” —Douglas Adams |