Bug#593533: debian-policy: Proposal to stop requesting to list initial Debian maintainers in debian/copyright
"Giacomo A. Catenazzi" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> No, I think it is wrong!
> The debian/copyright also include packaging copyright. I think the part
> involved in this proposal is for such reasons. So IMHO we must still
> require the names of packagers (and the specific license).
We've never said or required that, though. All we've required is that
debian/copyright contain any relevant copyright notices and any licenses.
I agree that if there are any for the Debian packaging, they should be in
debian/copyright (and I think that's already covered by the other
language), but it's common practice (if arguably sloppy) in the archive to
not put a specific license on the packaging (in which case I think
everyone in the free software community would assume it's under the same
license as the rest of the work since that's pretty much standard usage).
And it's relatively rare for Debian packagers to put explicit copyright
notices on things.
Copyright notices are strictly optional in countries that are signatories
to Berne. If the copyright holder doesn't put one on, we're under no
obligation to invent one.
> I think that the debian/changelog don't give enough informations about
> packagers (e.g. if they are more than one).
Well, it would if people used the multi-author format, not that we
document this right now. But more fundamentally, I don't think we're
under any legal obligation to provide any more information than that.
> Also the initial debian packager should ask upstream for authorisation
> to pack the original software, and such information is important for
> legal reasons, thus we must know who where the initial debian packager.
Surely not... if we have to ask anyone for authorization to package
something, it at the very least is non-free, and if we have to know who
that person is for legal reasons, I'm skeptical that it's even
redistributable in non-free since we often will have no way of contacting
that person nor are any sort of legal signatory to any agreements they
Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>