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Bug#1184: kermit blurb in postinst inappropriate

iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk (Ian Jackson)

This was discussed some time ago, and I`ve been expecting the discussion
to resurface.

Some of the prior discussion was email, and some was verbal.  I
don't have copies of all the old email, and it's possible that I may
not recall all the verbal discussion fully and correctly.  I'm
cc'ing this to Frank da Cruz at Columbia and asking him to comment if
he feel that comment from him is needed.

(Frank, if you do respond, please leave the Subject line intact so
our bug tracking system will handle the email properly).

The situation, as I currently understand it, is:

1.  Kermit has a copyright by Columbia which prohibits commercial
    distribution without permission.  They construe that this
    prohibition applies, for example, to distributing kermit
    on a debian linux CDROM.

2.  When I contacted them and asked for permission to distribute kermit
    as part of debian Linux, they refused -- at least as far as CDROM
    distribution is concerned.  They point out that they maintain an FTP
    site, and offer several distribution options via physial media.

3.  I argued that they distribute source, which the user must then
    deal with by building an executable which is properly configured
    and optioned for his system.  What we'd like to do, say I, is
    to distribute kermit pre-configured for debian linux.

4.  They reamin adamant that they will not allow distribution via CDROM.

5.  I ask if it'd be OK for us to make debian kermit available via
    ftp.  I mention that we have install-time messages, and offer
    to refer users to Columbia, and to mention the "Using C-Kermit"
    book, in these install-time messages.  I get a verbal OK on this.

That's where we currently stand on this.  I've added the blurb you quote
below to the install-time message, and we have kermit in the "non-free"
section of the distribution on ftp.debian.org.

> I see the message below.  I think this is inappropriate.  If it is a
> legal requirement we should say so, so that people know we don't do it
> by choice.
> Ian.
> Setting up kermit ...
> C-Kermit 5A is documented in the book "Using C-Kermit" by Frank da Cruz
> and Christine M. Gianone, Digital Press, Burlington, MA, USA.  Digital
> Press ISBN: 1-55558-108-0; Prentice-Hall ISBN: 0-13-037490-3.  Price: US
> $34.95.  In USA, call DECdirect at 1-800-344-4825, refer to order number
> EY-J896E-DP.  See the files in /usr/doc/kermit for more information.
> The complete Kermit distribution for multiple platforms is available
> by ftp from kermit.columbia.edu.

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