Bug#698019: libav: the effective GPL-licensed status of the binary packages should be clearly documented

Jonas Smedegaard dr at jones.dk
Wed Jan 16 00:20:51 UTC 2013

Quoting Steve Langasek (2013-01-15 20:59:35)
> On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 02:41:07PM +0100, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > the current defined purpose of the copyright file apparently is only 
> > to cover copyrights and licensing or _source_.
> That's not true.  The purpose of the copyright file has *always* been 
> to ensure that the license for a given binary package is correctly 
> documented in that package.  It's just that the safest way to ensure 
> this is by documenting the entire license for the source package in 
> debian/copyright and copying that file to each of the binary packages.  
> Unfortunately we took a wrong turn somewhere and started considering 
> debian/copyright itself the requirement, and that's a *bug*.

Ahh, I think I realize now where I went wrong: "the copyright file" is 

Even if I recall and understand correctly that during the DEP5 process 
leading to copyright file format 1.0 it was pointed out that the 
debian/copyright is only about source, that is *not* the same as saying 
that the /usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright files are only about source.

Source and effective licensing just happen to be identical in simple 
cases.  And copyright file format 1.0 just happen to only verbosely 
cover source copyright (as I recall the addition of copyright field in 
header section was only late in the process).

Apologies to previous posters who might have seen this all along and 
tried to point it out to me. :-/

I'll setup a mechanism to have libav extend the copyright file for each 
binary packages, adding to header section a reasoned effective license.

...and will start do similar for all the other packages that I am 
involved in, as I examine copyrights and licensing for those and convert 
to machine-readable format.

 - 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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