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Bug#566220: [PATCH] Clarify "verbatim copy of its copyright and distribution license"

On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 11:49:03AM -0600, Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> Agreed.  The license for using and distributing the files in the
> BINARY package is useful and necessary.  But I can't imagine that many
> binary package users would need the hundreds of copyright statements
> from multi-author works like the kernel, gcc, libc, etc.  A summary
> should be fine and for those who really want the details the source
> package exists.

Except that the examples you cite are all packages distributed under the GPL
or the LGPL, and their *license* requires that we reproduce the copyright

> In this light, I don't understand the motivation for "clarifying"
> the policy to something that manifestly we're not following.

The motivation is to put an end to the contrafactual interpretation of this
clause in Policy that Ben Finney continues to advance in discussions on
Debian mailing lists.

I'm not claiming that there's consensus about what the policy for
debian/copyright *should* be, I'm saying that there's consensus about what
the current Policy text *means* - at least insofar as it excludes Ben's
revisionist interpretation that "copyright and distribution license" is only
meant to refer to a license.

It's clear that our compliance with this bit of Policy is poor, and it's
also clear that there's disagreement about whether it should even be
enforced, so that's a conversation that the Project should have - but claims
that it never meant copyright notices were supposed to be included in the
first place only muddle the discussion.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

[1] GPLv2, §3: "You may copy and distribute the Program in object code under
the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above [...]"; §1: "You may copy and distribute
[...] provided that you [...] conspicuously and appropriately publish on
each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty"

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