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Re: Migration of non-free packages to testing

On Mon, Nov 11, 2002 at 06:50:08PM +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> spectrum-roms can basically never be free software - even if the
> copyright holders wanted it to be, they've lost the source code.

Of course it can be.  The copyright holders can put it into the public
domain[1], for instance, through a simple decree clearly identifying the

Are you sure you're not thinking of GPL-compatibility issues?  The lack
of available source code (the "preferred form for modification") does
potentially pose problems for abandonware where the source code is
unavailable, but that's not a freedom issue when that lack is not the
result of deliberate action or withholding.

Anyway, not being GPL-compatible in the license department doesn't mean
a thing isn't licensed DFSG-freely.

Feel free to raise the issue of ZX Spectrum ROMs on debian-legal.  I'm
sure we can split hairs over there and/or ask the FSF about "preferred
forms for modification" where even the copyright holder no longer has
the original perferred form for modification around anymore.

(Problems like this are why I favor a "use it or lose it" approach to
copyright terms.  Keep your work on the open market, or it becomes part
of the public domain.)

[1] or otherwise relicense it, say under the MIT/X11 license

G. Branden Robinson                |     "Why do we have to hide from the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      police, Daddy?"
branden@debian.org                 |     "Because we use vi, son.  They use
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      emacs."

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