[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Copyright: in d/copyright - Questions about writing copyright info

Jongmin Kim <jmkim@pukyong.ac.kr> writes:

> Hi!
> I'm new to packaging, and I am currently trying to write 'd/copyright'
> file. I am watching some other repositories for studying the
> conventions.
> 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
“Copyright” field.

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:


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 |
Ben Finney

Reply to: