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Question Regarding Copyright


I'm seeking the wisdom of the ftp-masters.

Previously we had a Debian package, libanyevent-perl (referring to
AnyEvent on CPAN), which has license information present but is
missing copyright. To solve this, we e-mailed the author inquiring
about a copyright statement, which was submitted to us. The upstream
author, however, feels that an explicit copyright statement is a
Debian requirement (rather than a legal requirement) and thus
considers such a notice upstream to be extraneous.

So, basically, we have included his e-mail response verbatim and used
that as our copyright rationale. This is less than ideal, but as the
author does not want to put copyright information, and the package is
quite popular (popcon score is: Inst - 84470), we initially included
the e-mail as part of debian/copyright.

However, that file was a bit cluttered, so what I did (after the
package was ACCEPTED), was move the e-mail into a separate file,
called copyright.rationale, and then wrote a reference to that file.

gregor hermann, a Debian Developer, realized that this arrangement
means that the copyright.rationale is only available in source
packages, and not distributed in binary packages, which makes it less
than ideal. He proposed two possible courses of action:

1. Re-integrate the copyright.rationale into copyright
2. Add copyright.rationale to the libanyevent.docs file, so that it is
installed in binary packages

I would prefer the latter, but I am not sure of what impact this might
have on everyone else, so I thought it would be most appropriate to
ask first.

It should be noted that we are currently working on fulfilling ITPs
for Coro (libcoro-perl) and its dependency, Guard (libguard-perl),
which have similar copyright issues (the copyright statement is
missing, but the license information is present). I'm not a lawyer,
but I'm told that this is okay per the Berne Convention, since
copyright is implicitly granted to the author of software, so I think
that's the main reason why Marc Lehmann doesn't feel the need to add
an explicit copyright statement.



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