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Re: [DEP5] License field in the first paragraph ?

On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:23:44AM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> writes:

In the above example, doc/* are not copyright by Mr. Foo. But if if Mr. Foo has done work that allows him to assert a compilation copyright, that could apply to the whole package, including doc/*. So, Mr. Foo could be listed in the Copyright in the header.

In this case, there is not a license directly associated with the compilation copyright. All the individual files are licensed under A or B, by their individual authors. So having License in the header doesn't make sense.

Yeah, but if there's a compilation copyright, that means there's compilation intellectual property that can then be released under a license.

But there are two other main reasons why I want an overall package license:

* It's common to release GPL'd software that includes some
2-clause-BSD-licensed files, taking advantage of the ability to relicense under the BSD licensing terms. In this case, the distribution as a whole is released under the GPL, but those files are still under the BSD. Without a global License statement, there isn't a good way to represent this without requiring someone draw that inference from the licenses of the individual files.

* I suspect that a lot of people won't be interested in documenting the
license and copyright terms of every individual file, and ftpmaster has in the past allowed this in many cases when the package is huge and all the files are licensed under compatible terms. In that case, it's nice to be able to just specify a general package license and make it explicit that one is not claiming to have a comprehensive listing of all files with their copyright and license statements.

I believe that both of above essentially is about _our_ relicensing, rather than just documenting _upstream_ licensing.

I personally find it quite handy to track which licensing the package maintainer picked among multiple choices, but seems to me this is not required by Policy, so it should stay optional for now.

I.e. regarding my example, even if DEP5 should be corrected to also mention License: in header paragraph, I should _still_ below that include a "Files: *" paragraph with identical Copyright and License, because the header covers our relicensing and the Files paragraphs cover upstream licensing.

Or did I somehow mess it up (again...)?

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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