Re: debian/copyright for files not part of the binary packages?
Ben Finney <email@example.com> writes:
> Charles Plessy <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>> Documenting the copyright of all files in a machine-readable format can
>> definitely help to make automated tests, but as Russ reminded, the most
>> time consuming part of making a Debian package is to document the
>> licence of the files.
> Your interpretation of the information differs from mine then.
> From the information Russ gave, I would only conclude that documenting
> the license of all the upstream files is the most time-consuming part of
> *writing the copyright file*, without any statement of relation to the
> whole effort of making the Debian package.
Well, neither of those was quite what I said, but yes, I didn't mean to
imply that it was the most time-consuming part of packaging. Generally
for me that's writing all the man pages that upstream didn't bother to
What I said was that it takes two to three times as long as the license
review I would normally do to document every file, including all the
Autotools files, and it normally takes a couple of hours per package. It
takes twenty or thirty times as long as writing a debian/copyright file in
the way that I used to write it, since normally that would take only a
small fraction of the license review time and would involve mostly just
copying the upstream license documentation.
The copyright information in particular is generally very unclear on some
of those files, not in non-free ways, but in ways that make it rather
annoying to document the exact status. For example, Makefile.am files are
usually covered under the license of the upstream source, but Makefile.in
files get an Automake copyright and license slapped on them as well, and
the combined work is generally covered under the upstream license but with
both copyrights. But not always, depending on what the upstream license
Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>