Upstream projects that do not comply with their license (MIT/EPL/...)

Paul Tagliamonte paultag at
Wed Jul 31 04:21:06 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 11:36:06AM +1000, Eugenio Cano-Manuel Mendoza wrote:
>      > > OTOH the *intention* of upstream is pretty clear and I am sure they
>      won't take
>      > > us to court over this, but I wouldn't want to rely on that.
>      >
>      > If they clarify their intent in email or on the github issue, that's
>      > good enough, we can slap on the license ourselves. In this case, this
>      > has to be clarified in d/copyright with appropriate references & quotes.
>      Right, that would surely be enough and I've seen examples of this in the
>      archive before. Lets hope that the upstream authors reply in due course
>      to
>      ensure that this issue doesn't delay us for too long
>    Could you please point me to a few of those packages? I'm wondering how
>    debian/copyright should look when quoting and referencing those
>    intentions.

Just make it clear. In the old copyright format (yes, the caveman
rocksmashing days that they were), it was purely human readable, so it
was likely just an email droped in. For the case of DEP5, I could see
that being done with comments (Wait, does it *support* comments?!) or
extra fields (NoReallyLookAtThis: ...), or in the README.Debian.

I'd be keen to see it in a README.Debian or a DEP5 paragraph key
(something sane)

>    By the way, is it _mandatory_ for all source files to mention its license
>    in the header? For example tools.cli does include the license in the

Nope. Totally OK if it's not there, but it helps keep stuff clear.

>    parent directory but doesn't mention anything on the source files (same
>    for stencil). Should I submit a bug? Does this also apply to tests? (Even
>    if we don't package them but I'm guessing it does)

Meh. You can if you'd like, but they're not *really* legally binding,
they just serve to make the situation absolutely clear.

>    Eugenio
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 .''`.  Paul Tagliamonte <paultag at>
: :'  : Proud Debian Developer
`. `'`  4096R / 8F04 9AD8 2C92 066C 7352  D28A 7B58 5B30 807C 2A87
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