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Re: Copyright and License Guidelines

On Mon, 21 Mar 2011 21:00:23 -0400, Jonathan Yu wrote:

(A few comments, I've read the whole thread and agree with a lot
others have said.)

> +=head1 Copyright and License Information

I agree that duplicating this information doesn't help a lot. Maybe a
short pointer ("genereal policy is covered <here>, this just
specifies how we handle some details") would be ok.

> +This information, collected for each and every file in a package, is provided
> +to our users through a machine-parseable file called b<debian/copyright>, as
> +defined in L<DEP5|http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep5/>.

Documenting as a group policy that we use DEP5-style while it's
optional in Debian in general would be ok for me.

> +=head2 Team-Maintained Software
> +Often, large software projects are maintained by numerous members of a team.
> +Historically, Perl software has been developed quite informally, without
> +anything resembling the L<Contributor License Agreement|
> +http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributor_License_Agreement>s (CLA) seen
> +frequently in large corporate-sponsored open source projects.

[I think the "L<$text|$url>"-style links are not valid POD (anymore?).]

In generall I share the often-mentioned dislike of copyright
assignment; besides, it doesn't add anything when we add it to our
policy (i.e. to our description how we handle things).

> +=head3 Synchronizing copyright information
> +In many cases, members should manually synchronize copyright information
> +for major projects. It is recommended that this information be maintained
> +as part of L<copyright.pod> in order to provide a single source of common
> +contributor contact information.

I have to admit that I don't understand if this refers to upstream or
to our work. If it's the former it might be a helpful hint for
upstream (IIRC such a request triggered this debate) but shouldn't go
into our policy; if the latter I still don't understand it :)

Ah, I think I get it: You mean using our policy.pod a.k.a.
http://pkg-perl.alioth.debian.org/copyright.html as a copypaste
source for lists of copyright holders that apply to multiple package?
Yes, something like that might be helpful.

> +=head3 Dependent packages
> +Where a team maintains some packages that depend on a single "parent"
> +package (for example, a project with a main package as well as plugins),
> +it is possible to refer to information in the "parent" package.

That would be helpful, I'm not sure if it's allowed by Debian Policy,
and it should probably be checked with ftp-masters.

In general, I think providing a rationale/history of this proposal
would help to focus the discussion :)

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