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How to open-source a program?

Hi all,

within the number of packages that would be nice to see in Debian, one important piece is the program "Daophot", written by Peter Stetson. Unfortunately, this program is not Open Source yet, but getting its source code requires to sign an NDA. The NDA gives as main reason the control over the software and the credits.

However, the program is *very* old, and parts of it already leaked out (rewritten in other programming languages) in some Open Source packages, (astrolib [IDL] and IRAF) -- legally or not.

I asked the author whether the program could be made open source, but he stated that "the lawyers in Ottawa" would forbid him to do so. One would need to query the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada to discuss this.

Has anyone already went through such an exercise and could assist me in writing a nice E-mail? Or are there better ways to proceed?

Best regards


(Sorry for spamming 3 lists: I am not sure where to put this. For the discussion, we can restrict to one of them)

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