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Re: debian/copyright for files not part of the binary packages?

On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 05:40:24PM +0100, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Awaiting your thoughts,

I do agree with you that this "policy" of FTP master should be
documented somewhere. Ideally, since it has been a well-known common
practice for years of NEW processing, it should become part of policy
(without quotes this time). To me it would look like as the application
of the typical process of our policy: status quo -> stone carving.

However, as you have read between the lines above, I do acknowledge
Joerg claim that it is a well-known practice: debian/copyright should
list licenses and copyrights on a source package basis. I frankly do not
understand your surprise, I doubt it is the first time you hit it ...

I also see the pragmatical reason of the current practice: files from
the source package can mix in complex ways during compilation, the only
reliable place where to define their legal details is the source
package. To be sure you have been exhaustive, you need to list all files
(OK, there are exceptions like config.sub, but I'm sure my point is
clear enough).  

Even though in your case you are probably sure that the GFDL stuff does
not end up in the binary package, there might be way more complex cases
(like grepping away lines of GFDL-ed stuff and including it as usage
messages which then get compiled in an executable). We can't ask FTP
masters to check build details to check cases like this: once more I see
the current practice as a reasonable one.

The best outcome I can imaging of this discussion is a bug report
against policy stating more precisely that all files shipped in a source
package are taken into account by debian/copyright.


PS wrt exhaustiveness, the machine-interpretable debian/copyright
   proposal http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat is way
   better than the status quo, and I really hope that someone with time
   and energy take it up again to reach a definitive syntax and
   semantics for debian/copyright

Stefano Zacchiroli -*- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
I'm still an SGML person,this newfangled /\ All one has to do is hit the
XML stuff is so ... simplistic  -- Manoj \/ right keys at the right time

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