On 11-06-13 at 01:22pm, Dan S wrote:
> 2011/6/13 Jonas Smedegaard <d...@jones.dk>:
> > On 11-06-13 at 03:14am, Felipe Sateler wrote:
> >> On Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 22:40, Jonas Smedegaard <d...@jones.dk> 
> >> wrote:
> >> >> Actually, for "*" the listing of "Copyright: 2002-2003, James 
> >> >> McCartney" is out of date. I would change it to "Copyright: 
> >> >> 2002-2011, James McCartney and others" - that OK? There are many 
> >> >> dozens of code contributors so I hope "others" is not too weird.
> >> >
> >> > "others" is not a legal entity.
> >> >
> >> > What needs to be listed in Files sections is the actual copyright 
> >> > holders, not all contributors.
> >>
> >> There is not full consensus around this idea. If one can be 
> >> reasonably sure that the work is under the listed license, my 
> >> personal take on the subject is that one lists all the copyright 
> >> holders on a best effort basis. It can perfectly be possible, 
> >> especially with large and relatively old packages, that names are 
> >> forgotten/lost. That doesn't mean the package is not fit for debian 
> >> because the copyright file cannot list all copyright holders.
> >>
> >> In other words, I believe it is acceptable to put "others" in the 
> >> Files sections, when filling the complete list is too hard.
> >
> > I did not write that all others need to be documented.
> >
> > On the contrary, when those others are contributors without holding 
> > copyright, I believe they need not be listed.
> OK. This can be implemented simply by using the names given in the 
> copyright statements, as has been done in the package at present. 
> However, there are quite a few contributors who have made 
> contributions of sufficient complexity (etc) to claim copyright, but 
> who didn't bother to change the copyright notices. Should I ignore 
> them, or what? I could say "it's their fault for not claiming their 
> copyright" but at least in my country (UK) you don't need to claim 
> copyright in order to have it, so in a sense I should attribute them 
> even if they forgot to attribute themselves.
> To be honest, I guess it's probably OK as-is (without "others"),
> though it does feel a little unrepresentative.

That is new info to me, and changes the game!

As Debian maintainer, when you are well aware that additional copyright 
holders exist then they should be properly listed in debian/copyright.

Best way to do that is to convince upstream (i.e. yourself with another 
hat on) to explicitly list all copyright holders as such in headers of 
corresponding code files.

There are (sub-optimal!) alternatives.  One is to only list them in 
debian/copyright (i.e. not bother as upstream - affecting other 
distributors).  Another is as upstream to summarize in README or 
CONTRIBUTORS or AUTHORS or similar, and as Debian maintainer copy that 
chunk into debian/copyright.

I do not consider it acceptable for Debian distribution to just list 
some copyright holders as "...and others".  Feel free to disagree with 
me - I am not the law here, just very interested in perfecting these 
texts, to most properly honour those contributing to the FLOSS world.  
You can consult debian-legal@ or you can take your chances and hope 
ftpmasters do not spot the issues and block based on it.


 - Jonas

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

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private

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