invalid (formatted) copyright syntax

Bug #610108 reported by Kyle Nitzsche on 2010-07-26
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
base-passwd (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: base-passwd

base-passwd source pkg (version 3.5.22 anyway) has a debian copyright file that is not quite valid with respect to the draft specification for formatted copyright files (

Thus my license parser denotes it as invalid.

It asserts a license: "PD" here:
Files: passwd.master, group.master
License: PD
But it does not provide a link to the (on-disk) PD license nor does it provide the enumerated license text in a free-standing stanza, like this:
License: PD

Kyle Nitzsche (knitzsche) wrote :

More specifically, the current version of the proposal specifically says that "PD" (or public domain) is not a valid license. see

Kyle Nitzsche (knitzsche) wrote :

There are a few other minor issues that make the current copyright non-conforming respecting the current Dep5 proposal.

The attached patch fixes them all EXCEPT for the assertion of PD, which, as mentioned above, is not considered a valid license.

Can you pick a license?

tags: added: patch
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

I have no intention of picking a licence; those files are public domain. I'll need to find some way to assert that.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

I've committed your patch, but will need to bring the public domain question up on debian-project; it would seem to require a change to the specification.

Leo Arias (elopio) wrote :

Patch was accepted and applied by Colin Watson on

Should we mark this issue as "fix released" and open another one to track the PD issue, or should I leave it as confirmed?

tags: added: patch-accepted-upstream
removed: patch
Changed in base-passwd (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Leo, no, please see my comment #4 on this bug; the patch is not complete. Furthermore, bugs should not be marked as "Fix Released" until the fix actually reaches the Ubuntu archive.

There's no need to micromanage the status of this bug - it will be closed automatically when the fix is uploaded. Until then, please leave it as it is.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Re-reading, I see that you probably did notice my comment #4. Nevertheless, please leave this bug open.

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