[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: DEP-5: Clarifying copyright/license requirements (was: Clarifying the mandatory contents of the Debian copyright file.)

Le Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 09:04:11AM -0800, Russ Allbery a écrit :
> Peter Miller <pmiller@opensource.org.au> writes:
> > http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep5/
> >         "Files paragraph (Repeatable)
> >         
> >         "The declaration of copyright and license for files is done in
> >         one or more paragraphs. In the simplest case, a single paragraph
> >         can be used which applies to all files and lists all applicable
> >         copyrights and licenses."
> > It says "all applicable copyrights and licenses".  Note the "and".  To
> > me, in a standards context, this means conjunction (logical and) not
> > disjunction (logical or).
> So it sounds like we need to explicitly say that if there are files
> Copyright 2010 and others Copyright 2009, you just write:
>     Copyright: 2009, 2010 whoever

Dear Russ and Peter,

The text quoted by Peter introduces the purpose of Files paragraph, but just
means that in the simplest case, one paragraph is enough.  In my impression,
the wording used (‘In the simplest case, …’) suggests well that the sentence is
not normative, but just descriptive.

The current draft of the DEP contains the following, which I think explains
well how to write Copyright fields.


  The Copyright field collects all relevant copyright notices for the files of
  this paragraph. Not all copyright notices may apply to every individual file,
  and years of publication for one copyright holder may be gathered together. For
  example, if file A has:
    Copyright 2008 John Smith
    Copyright 2009 Angela Watts
  and file B has:
    Copyright 2010 Angela Watts
  the Copyright field for a stanza covering both file A and file B need contain only:
    Copyright 2008 John Smith
    Copyright 2009, 2010 Angela Watts
  The Copyright field may contain the original copyright statement copied exactly
  (including the word "Copyright"), or it can shorten the text, as long as it
  does not sacrifice information. Examples in this specification use both forms.

> Furthermore, we should probably also say that if upstream has a general
> copyright notice, it's not required to sort through every file and find
> every other mention of a copyright holder (but we should be sure that
> ftpmaster is okay with that, since on that front I've heard conflicting
> things).

The latest written document on the subject states:

  In many packages there is more than one author, more than one
  copyright-holder and more than one license. Do not miss to list them all, even
  if that other license is just for one file. Yes, any single file is important.


I think that we need a clarification from the FTP Masters, whether ‘Do not miss
to list them all’ applies to the copyright notices or not.  Before that, I do
not think we can give precise instructions in the DEP.  The DEP syntax allows
to write a Debian copyright file that complies with either interpretation of
the FTP Masters's recommendations.

> Similarly, if the licenses used by upstream on the files allow releasing
> under some other license that's covering the work as a whole, we should
> probably say that it's okay to just list the license under which
> everything is being distributed (although it's probably ideal to document
> the separate licenses).

I understand well the need of this for very large packages, but in my
experience, other packages list the licenses exhaustively.  I think that
instructions explaining in which condition it is acceptable to not document a
license would introduce a lot of confusion, not to mention that this would open
the very question of what we are required to document by law, and what we are
required to document by Policy, which is not written.  (I remind that to
satisfy the GPL, the source and binary packages are considered as a single
entity, so in theory we could skip documenting a lot of things…).

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

Reply to: