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Old 01-22-2010, 02:48 AM
Ben Finney
 
Default What criteria does ftpmaster use for the ‘copyright’ file of a package?

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:39:35PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> > A little time after DebConf excitement has calmed down, I would
> > still like to see answers, in the public record, from the ftpmasters
> > on this issue.
>
> I am not an ftp master, but I think this follows from a
> straightforward set of principles:

Thanks for your response. (I am still very interested to get the
ftpmasters to join this discussion with their positions.)

> - Policy requires reproduction of the copyright notices for a work
> in debian/copyright.

This point in particular I don't think is clear. It has been argued
several times in the past that it is the copyright *license* that is
important, and needs to be reproduced in the package ‘copyright’ file.

Especially in combination with your later points (that the copyright
notices can't be “corrected”, which I take to imply that aggregation and
re-phrasing of the notices is also verboten), there seems to be little
point reproducing the verbatim copyright *notices*, especially since
they're all in the source regardless.

Either that, or there *is* benefit and justification for aggregating and
re-phrasing copyright notices, not just verbatim duplication, when
putting the extra copies in the package ‘copyright’ file.

--
德不*、必有鄰。 (The virtuous are not abandoned, they |
` shall surely have neighbours.) |
_o__) —*夫* Confucius, 551 BCE – 479 BCE |
Ben Finney


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Old 01-22-2010, 03:06 AM
Ben Finney
 
Default What criteria does ftpmaster use for the ‘copyright’ file of a package?

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:
>
> > On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:39:35PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> > > A little time after DebConf excitement has calmed down, I would
> > > still like to see answers, in the public record, from the ftpmasters
> > > on this issue.
> >
> > I am not an ftp master, but I think this follows from a
> > straightforward set of principles:
>
> Thanks for your response. (I am still very interested to get the
> ftpmasters to join this discussion with their positions.)
>
> > - Policy requires reproduction of the copyright notices for a work
> > in debian/copyright.
>
> This point in particular I don't think is clear. It has been argued
> several times in the past that it is the copyright *license* that is
> important, and needs to be reproduced in the package ‘copyright’ file.

Lest it appear that I didn't respond to Steve's point, I'll speak about
the wording in current Debian policy:

12.5. Copyright information
---------------------------

Every package must be accompanied by a verbatim copy of its
copyright and distribution license in the file
`/usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright'. This file must neither be
compressed nor be a symbolic link.

In addition, the copyright file must say where the upstream sources
(if any) were obtained. It should name the original authors […]

So, the “copyright and distribution license” is required in the
‘copyright’ file; we also require “where the upstream sources (if any)
were required”. Nothing about duplicating the copyright notices.

Now, I understand that some people read “copyright and distribution
license” as two separate things; but “a verbatim copy of its copyright”
makes no sense, since copyright isn't a text that can be duplicated. A
package doesn't have “a copyright”, except in the sense of a right that
is held by a person. That's not a text that can be copied verbatim.

The only sensible parsing of that wording, to my understanding, is that
the policy requires a single thing: the package's license of copyright
and distribution. So I see no policy justification for the requirement
of duplicating copyright notices.

--
“When I get new information, I change my position. What, sir, |
` do you do with new information?” —John Maynard Keynes |
_o__) |
Ben Finney


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Old 01-22-2010, 04:53 AM
Steve Langasek
 
Default What criteria does ftpmaster use for the ‘copyright’ file of a package?

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 02:48:39PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> > - Policy requires reproduction of the copyright notices for a work
> > in debian/copyright.

> This point in particular I don't think is clear. It has been argued
> several times in the past that it is the copyright *license* that is
> important, and needs to be reproduced in the package ‘copyright’ file.

It has been argued *by you*. I have refuted this.

> Especially in combination with your later points (that the copyright
> notices can't be “corrected”, which I take to imply that aggregation and
> re-phrasing of the notices is also verboten)

This is not what I said.

--
Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com vorlon@debian.org
 
Old 01-23-2010, 02:11 AM
Russ Allbery
 
Default What criteria does ftpmaster use for the ‘copyright’ file of a package?

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:
> Le Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 02:48:39PM +1100, Ben Finney a écrit :

>> Especially in combination with your later points (that the copyright
>> notices can't be “corrected”, which I take to imply that aggregation
>> and re-phrasing of the notices is also verboten), there seems to be
>> little point reproducing the verbatim copyright *notices*, especially
>> since they're all in the source regardless.

> Dear all,

> Given that the patch that is being rushed in the Policy (#566220) does not
> clarify what is meant by “verbatim”,

That's because there isn't a precise definition in existing practice, and
the purpose of that change is to document existing practice unless and
until we reach some consensus for changing it. Not to set some new
standard other than what we've historically followed. The current
practice is that verbatim is not a clearly defined term and people are
using a common-sense, and imprecise, definition.

Incidentally, don't you think it's a little inaccurate and melodramatic to
describe as "rushed" something that hasn't even been committed to a Git
repository yet, let alone put into any sort of release, and whose only
action so far has been some discussion and three seconds?

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


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