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Bug#255955: [opal@debian.org: Re: Accepted mmake 2.2.1-4 (all source)]


On Wed, Aug 18, 2004 at 12:53:37AM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> Ola Lundqvist <opal@debian.org> writes:
> > Well well. I assume of non-serious priority right?
> > I did a random check of tree packages. 2 of them was correct and 1 did
> > not include such source comments (hsftp).
> It depends on the particular case.


> > That he removed GNUGPL.TXT and LICENSE and added COPYING instead
> > to be clear.
> No no, I think you still don't understand.
> Merely distributing a copy of the GPL *means nothing*.  What must
> happen is the author must say "this work is distributed under the
> terms of the GPL."  It is totally irrelevant what any of the files are
> called. 

Ok. But he do that in the current version right? If he does not do that
in a later version is not very relevant.

> In the old version, he did so in the file LICENSE, but that is
> technically not enough--you must do so in such a way that identifies
> *which files* are being licensed.  The normal way is to put the
> license statement in every file; but he could also list the files in
> LICENSE, or by some other way.  He did not, and that's a bug.

Ok. If we need to be that hard we have to file serious bugs on a great
number of packages!

Here is some samples:
hsftp - note in readme but no licensing source comments
kernel-patch-ctx - no notes at all, but they are kernel patches
 and upstream release them (or did at least) just as patches.
lshw - just a COPYING file
cron-apt - just a COPYING file (this should be ok as I'm the author)
setserial - just as a small note in version.h and linux/serial.h no
 GPL document in upstream sources at all.

So to be real even a package that was a part of base (until just a
week or two ago, setserial) has uncertain licensing infomration. I
may even find it in tools that are part of base, but I have not started
to look yet.

I'll CC debian-legal about this.

> The latest version, by contrast, contains no such statement at all,
> anywhere at all.  It simply distributes the GPL (which the old version
> did too).  It is totally irrelevant what filename the GPL is put in.
> What makes this a serious bug, and something that could warrant the
> package being removed, is that we should have real doubts about the
> intentions of the upstream maintainer.  He *removed* the grant of
> permission to copy--not just failed to include one--and he has
> declined to answer repeated queries from Debian about what his
> licensing intentions are.

Ok, I'll try to contact him too.

> > Did you actually read what I wrote? The new upstream has a "COPYING"
> > file with full GPL statement. Is that not enough as copying file
> > (except for source notes)?
> No.  It is totally irrelevant what the filename is.  Distibuting a
> copy of the GPL is not, in any way, shape, or form, the same thing as
> licensing a program under the GPL.

Ok, then I have to file serious bugs on a number of my own packages,
right, even if I'm the author?

> > Do you really think this is a problem still? It can not be of 'serious'
> > severity at least. Not at least unless you want to keep the sarge
> > release away for a big number of months.
> Hogwash.  The consequence is that mmake would not be part of sarge.
> Mmake is not a very important program.

Even if it has been in debian for a VERY long time? It was a part
of woody (at least).

Not that I really care about mmake, because I have never used it. It
is the principle that bothers me.

You are probably right but I really object on the severity of it.


// Ola

> Thomas
> -- 
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 --------------------- Ola Lundqvist ---------------------------
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