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Re: license for patch?

Scripsit Fabio Massimo Di Nitto <fabbione@fabbione.net>

> Actually the author of the patch did not put any license on it and he
> belives that he cannot due to german laws. He is cooperating with us 100%
> in order to make the distribution of the patch possible.
> Does the patch really need a license? and i case which one will fit
> better?

Whether or not the patch needs a license depends on whether it is
complex and non-trivial enough to have a copyright protection of its

If the patch is not a *very* independent work (that is, if it only
fits that particular program, and the patch author is happy with it
being used in every conceivable variant of that program), the simplest
way to get rid of all possibilities of trouble would probably for the
author to explicitly disclaim copyright (i.e. make it "public domain").

A possible statement would be

| This patch, which extends the Foobar program with the ability to
| frobnitz armadillos interactively, was written by me, N.N., in
| 2003. I hereby grant everyone an unconditional, irrevocable
| royalty-free, non-exclusive, world-wide license to any copyright on
| the work I may have in any jurisdiction; this license including the
| right to prepare, distribute and sublicense modified and/or derived
| works without my prior specific permission.

A completely different, and possibly more important, question: Is
Debian actually allowed to distribute djbdns binaries built from
patched sources at all? I cannot quite find its license, but Google
tells me that the "djb" is D. J. Bernstein (of qmail notoriety); he
usually does not allow changed versions at all.

Henning Makholm              "I Guds Faders namn, och Sonens, och den Helige
                   Andes! Bevara oss från djävulens verk och från Muhammeds,
                den förbannades, illfundigheter! Med dig är det värre än med
            någon annan, ty att lyssna till Muhammed är det värsta av allt."

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