On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 03:34:57PM +0200, IOhannes m zmoelnig wrote:
On 2010-08-17 14:56, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:

Would you mind me adding the CDBS copyright-check routine?

i don't object, but:

I can imagine how that may feel odd since you yourself are upstream for the code, but it does seem to me that you missed out some copyright and licensing pieces. Not licensing conflicts, so nothing for you to worry about as upstream, but for Debian we care not only about that but also of properly recognizing all upstreams - not only main ones.

Please note that above is about redistribution for Debian and derived systems, i.e. debian/copyright and semi-automatically maintaining it.

Below is about upstream packaging, i.e. what might cause uncertainty for users and redistributors on what exactly thy are permitted to do with all the pieces that you offer them.

So I dare ignore your "but" above and (parallel to continuing below discussion) I will start working on copyright-check and rewriting debian/copyright using DEP5 machine-readable format.

If you disagree with that, please shout, so I can stop wasting time on something that you will revert anyway afterwards :-)

Upstream you might want to consider improving the licensing headers to (more clearly) declare copyright years. Currently you state copyright like this:

 * copyleft (c) IOhannes m zmölnig
 *   1999:forum::für::umläute:2004

There are multiple problems with this (IANAL, so YMMV):

  * the term "copyleft" have no legal meaning

but i guess that "(c)" is clear enough.

  * strings are expressed in latin1 (or latin13 or similar)

this is surely no legal requirement

  * it is unclear if the second string is copyright years

I recommend to instead use the following one-liner:

 * copyright 1999-2004, IOhannes m zmölnig

you translated it correctly :-)

the thing is, that this piece of software is also to be seen in an "art context" (phew!).
the entire copyright headers are in a way a "logo".
also the encoding confusion has a historic (for me) relevance.

I do not understand how that header is a logo, but that magic word "art" make me bow down in respect and not want to discuss any further.

It was just a suggestion (or, really, a recommendation), not a requirement (for you as upstream).

We (Debian) do need, however, to make sure that upstream copyright claims and licensing permissions are properly identified.

If the file headers do not (in our understanding of legal requirements for *redistributors* - not for *upstreams*) contain clear statements of both copyright and licensing, then we will need a written statement from those authors stating clearly the info we need.

This also, as I see it, implies that if e.g. a README file in the topmost directory of the upstream tarball claims that this project is Copyright authors A, B and C, but one file claims Copyright author D, then file takes presedence over README, and if then that file cannot be parsed reliably regarding *both* copyright and licensing, then that file is deemed unsatifiably licensed for redistribution.

You are free to not want to improve clarity of upstream copyright and licensing, but you risk some distributors then choosing not to want to redistribute your fine code.

i would hate to change these.

Ah, that is a language I understand :-D

 - Jonas

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

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