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For distributing youtube-dl I would like to add a minimal debian machine readable copyright file.

What should the copyright field have? It is licensed under unlicense.org

Format:http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/copyright-format/1.0/
Files:*
Copyright:public domain
License:unlicense.org
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    Whoever it is copyrighted by. But youtube-dl is already in Debian, so I'm unclear what the point of this is. You can find the copyright file at /usr/share/doc/youtube-dl/copyright after installing (apt-get install youtube-dl). – Faheem Mitha Mar 6 '16 at 21:04
  • Seconding @FaheemMitha, here's the current copyright file on jessie: metadata.ftp-master.debian.org/changelogs/main/y/youtube-dl/… – muru Mar 6 '16 at 21:06
  • Thank you. It is not in wheezy repositories : D – ncomputers Mar 6 '16 at 21:08
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    You can probably rebuild the current package on Wheezy: dget http://http.debian.net/debian/pool/main/y/youtube-dl/youtube-dl_2016.02.22-1.dsc, then change into the extracted directory and dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc (but I imagine you knew that already). – Stephen Kitt Mar 6 '16 at 21:42
  • I'd add the -b option to that dpkg-buildpackage command to build the binary .deb package only and avoid unnecessary build of source packages. – cas Mar 6 '16 at 23:38
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When packaging software for a distribution, follow their guidelines on how and where to place the license file. You will probably have to place the original license text somewhere, or link to some central copy. You should be able to rip off the way other packages do it.

This is covered in detail in the guidelines to create packages for e.g. Fedora, I'd be surprised if it wasn't also included in Debian. It is an one-time cost, better pay it upfront, your home knit package might go official, and fixing that later on is a hassle if it got released into the wild (and even inadvertently go against the license, getting you in legal trouble).

  • Thank you very much for your interest. Please note that the question was: What should the copyright field have? It is licensed under unlicense.org and it is: not applicable : D – ncomputers Mar 7 '16 at 3:04
  • @ncomputers.org, filch it from another package with the same license, if the guidelines aren't clear enough. Not a Debian user myself, I couldn't say. – vonbrand Mar 7 '16 at 3:10
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For unlicensed software, a minimal debian machine readable copyright file should be:

Format:http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/copyright-format/1.0/
Files:*
Copyright:not applicable
License:public-domain
 explanation of the exemption

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