As every responsible maintainer should know, having an updated
debian/copyright file is very important but can also take a
significant amount of work. A lot of copy & pasting, a lot of manual
corrections, and a lot of opportunity for human errors.
There are several tools that help with this, but they all have their
decopy is a newly uploaded tool (unfortunately too new
for stretch) that aims to:
- Detect as many licenses as possible
- Parse both text and binary files
- Minimize the work needed to keep the debian/copyright file up-to-date.
How to use it
In order to run it, after apt-get installing it, just go to a source package
directory and run
decopy in it. Depending on the size of the
package, it might take a while (the thorough processing means that a lot of
checking is going on). This will show you the generated
debian/copyright file in stdout. If you want to store it and diff
it against your current copyright file, use
There's more documentation in the README file.
More licenses are coming, the intention is to support all licenses listed in the SPDX License List. Additionally, the analysis will be improved to prioritize looking for the most common licenses first, avoiding unnecessary delays.
More modes of operation are also coming. We are planning for a diff mode that shows you only the changes between the current copyright file and what the tool thinks should be there as well as an explain mode that will let the user know what the differences are in a more verbose manner.
Credits and source
Decopy was mainly written by Maximiliano Curia. I've added testing, documentation and packaging.
It's hosted in collab-maint, licensed under the ISC license. We would love to get more contributors for it :)