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


On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 11:23:35PM -0600, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
> Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> > On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 06:59:06PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> >> 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.
> >
> > Really?  The change is aimed to silence one opinion?  I'm surprised.

I'd like to retract that snide remark.  I should not have cast
aspersions on Steve L's motivations and I apologize for this.

> > I do understand your point.  I accept that there are members of Debian
> > who subscribe to your interpretation.  It may well be that the
> > original Policy writers also subscribed to your interpretation.  I've
> > only been part of Debian for 9 years, so the discussions around the
> > policy pre-date me.
> > 
> > However, I maintain that a Policy interpretation that is not enforced
> > and not widely subscribed to is not really the Policy.
> If you are saying debian/copyright is not supposed to contain copyright
> information, please explain more so we can understand better.

In my mind, debian/copyright should contain the license and a
reasonable summary of the copyright.  I don't believe it is useful or
reasonable to reproduce verbatim the copyright statements of dozens of
authors found in thousands of files.

Further, what I'm saying is that this appears to me to be a widespread
practice in Debian over the years.

> The simplest way to get this done I can think of is to make the
> appropriate changes bit by bit.  I am interested in this particular
> bug because it establishes a baseline.

I have no quarrel with that approach.  I guess the question is: do you
make the change to document the policy-as-conceived or the de-facto


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