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Re: DEP-5: additional requirements to use with upstream

Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> writes:
> On to, 2010-08-12 at 17:14 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> * An additional section with the same syntax as the Files section but with
>>   no Files field that would be used for documenting the copyright of the
>>   distribution as a whole.  (In US law, this is called a compilation
>>   copyright.)  This is not the same thing as a Files: * section, which
>>   would specify a default copyright and license for any individual file
>>   that doesn't have other information.  In some edge cases, the
>>   compilation copyright and license can be different than the copyright
>>   and license of any individual file in the distribution.

> I am uncomfortable signalling compilation copyright just with the
> absence of a Files: field. It seems to error prone to me. It would be
> better to be explicit, I think. What would be a good way of being
> explicit in this case?

Maybe allow Copyright and License fields in the header?  This would also
has the advantage of being the way, in DEP-5, to do what several people
are asking for and just state the license for the whole package without
enumerating files, equivalent to what they're doing without DEP-5 now.
(This differs from a Files: * block in that the latter makes specific
claims about individual files, whereas the general copyright and license
statement does not and has the same granularity as most upstream license

>> * A comment field in the header section into which I can put statements
>>   like:
>>     All individual files with no other license statement are released
>>     under this license.  Some files have additional copyright dates from
>>     earlier releases or may be owned by other copyright holders as noted
>>     in those files.  Some files are individually released under different
>>     licenses, all of which are compatible with the above general package
>>     license.

> Would a generic multi-line Comment: field be sufficient?


>> * An origin field in the files section where I can note the origin of that
>>   set of files.  For example, my packages contain some files copied from
>>   GNU Libtool, and I currently say that in the LICENSE file.  I don't want
>>   to lose that information.  This use case could be served by just
>>   allowing a comment field in the files section, I suppose, and that may
>>   be a better approach since it's more general.

> Perhaps it'd be sufficient to stick to a generic Comment: field for now,
> until there's some experience to see what other new fields are useful in
> the real world. This would be my personal preference.

> If others think an Origin: field would be good to have, I'll add it, my
> job as DEP driver is to record consensus. Can you suggest a wording?
> What do others think? Anyone for or against and Origin: field?

It's similar to Source, but it may not contain a URL.  I'd say something

    (Optional.)  Free-form text documenting, for humans, the source of
    this set of files if they originally came from some other software
    distribution.  This information is not required in debian/copyright
    files.  This optional field is provided for cases where documenting
    this information is desired or useful.

which tries to reassure people that the complexity is here for people who
actively want it and everyone else can ignore it.

But it may be that just adding Comment everywhere would be enough.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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