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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] my intro

From: Noah Slater
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] my intro
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 21:56:47 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 10:30:56PM +0100, Sylvain Beucler wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 09:09:40PM +0000, Noah Slater wrote:
> > On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 07:27:47PM +0100, Sylvain Beucler wrote:
> > > We recommend using 'COPYING' but we do not have any hard requirement. As 
> > > long
> > > as the license is present in the top-level directory it's fine. I've seen
> > > files such as 'LGPL' or 'BSD' too.
> >
> > Is it okay if COPYING is added by GNU Automake at packaging time but is
> > absent from the actual source. I do not like keeping generated files in my
> > repository and this is no exception.
> I think COPYING is exception in this case, essentially for the reasons
> mentioned at

An exception? Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean.

Is it okay to include the COPYING in the dist tarball, but not the source repos?

The issues highlighted in the link you provided are not applicable to a source
repository as this is only tracked by developers or very keen users. Simply
running the ./bootstrap script will invoke automake which will in turn provide a
COPYING file, so it's not like there is really any problem here.

Of course, because of the way copyright works, if there is any doubt about the
licensing then full copyright is afforded. So, the way I see it is:

  * Someone checking out the source of a project directly is presumably under no
    confusion about the license of the software. If they wanted to be sure they
    could simply grab a release tarball or run the ./bootstrap script.

  * Because we don't risk anything by the very small potential for confusion,
    there is no harm in leaving COPYING out of the source repository where it is
    automatically generated as part of the release tarball.

Noah Slater,

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