Jonas Smedegaard dr at
Wed Mar 23 10:33:28 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:55:14AM +0100, Alessandro Ghedini wrote:
>On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 12:24:44PM -1000, Joel Roth wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 08:19:55PM +0100, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
>> > On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 08:29:04AM -1000, Joel Roth wrote:
>> > >I'm working on Ecasound's copyright file. Would like to ask for a 
>> > >review.
>> > >
>> > >This project has lots of contributors with different dates in 
>> > >different files.
>> > >
>> > >The catchall entry points to the original developer covering all 
>> > >years listed in the project files.
>> > >
>> > >Files: *
>> > >Copyright: 1997-2010 Kai Vehmanen <kvehmanen at>
>> > >License: GPL-2+
>> >
>> > Was there an implicit question somewhere in the above?
>> Not from me. Alessandro, was there something you
>> wanted to ask about?
>Yes. Currently the debian/copyright for ecasound lists all the 
>different contributors to the software, but having a look at the 
>licensecheck output some (one in particular) contributors are listed 
>with different copyright years ranges (for different files of course), 
>   Copyright: 2002-2010 Kai Vehmanen
>   Copyright: 1999-2004,2007 Kai Vehmanen
>   Copyright: 1997-2010 Kai Vehmanen
>and many others. The question is, do we need to list all this copyright
>statements, or we can just use a single catch-all copyright years range for
>this contributor?
>Hope this makes sense to you :)

Makes perfect sense with this clarification, thank you.

My understanding of Debian Policy is that debian/copyright must include 
all copyright holders and must include verbatim copies of licensing 
statements.  Which means it is _not_ a requirement to list all 
contributors/authors (only copyright holders) and need not list 
copyright holders verbatim (only licensing statements.

In other words, I find it ok - and most sensible - to abbreviate to...

   * Merge all Files sections for same codebase and same licensing
   * Merge all copyright holder lines into one
   * Strip &copy; and other copyright signatures
   * List copyright years most compact as possible
     * Use full 4-digit years: 1999 (not '99)
     * Use ranges: 1999-2003 (not 1999,2000,2001,2002,2003)
     * Strip spaces in between years chunk: 2001,2002 (not 2001, 2002)

Also, I prefer to add a comma between years chunk and name of copyright 

So I would list above example as such:

  Copyright: 1997-2010, Kai Vehmanen

I would not trust license-check but check the actual files for e.g. 
additional years listed on another line, or licensing 

I would also grep sources for some mention of email address for the 
authors when not included at the place of claiming the copyright.  Again 
this is tied to my understanding of the Copyright paragraph reflecting 
not "what was stated as copyright" but "who (and for what years) was 
stated as being copyright holder".

Hope that helps.

  - Jonas

  * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
  * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website:

  [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 836 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the pkg-multimedia-maintainers mailing list