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Re: Documenting copyright holders in debian/copyright

On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 09:34:59PM -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> 1.  Most licenses require copyright statements to be included.	In the FTP 
> team's view, unless a license explicitly states that  copyright attributions 
> only apply to source distributions, they apply for source and binary, so must 
> be documented in debian/copyright for license compliance reasons.
> GPL requires an "appropriate copyright notice" for both source and binary 
> forms.

My reading of 7(b) of GPLv3 would be that it is not required.

Have any lawyers or the FSF been consulted on that?

> 3.  In a few cases, FTP masters have determined that full copyright 
> attribution is both not feasible and, given the nature of the package, that an 
> appropriate copyright notice does not need to list all copyright holders and 
> allowed packages with an incomplete debian/copyright into the archive. Such a
> package still violates policy, although the FTP masters believe it to be a
> minor violation.  Just because such a determination has been made about one
> package, does not mean it should apply to another package.  Almost certainly
> the answer to requests for additional exceptions will be no.

If the ftp team believes that distributing GPL code without copyright 
attributions in debian/copyright is required for license compliance 
reasons, noone except the copyright holders can legally grant an 
exception that allows Debian to distribute that code.

If one copyright holder of a package with an existing ftp team exception 
package would take legal actions against a Debian mirror, what would be 
the official position of Debian regarding the legality of what our
mirror distributes?



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       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
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