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Re: Bug#191717: automake1.6: install-sh licensing nightmare?



On Fri, May 02, 2003 at 11:21:18PM -0400, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> Package: automake1.6
> Version: 1.6.3-5
> Severity: serious
> 
> I noticed this from a discussion in #148412 about gimp's licensing)

[snip standard MIT/X11 copyright notice and license]

> Not only does automake not reproduce these notices in its documentation, as
> required, but it also automatically installs a copy of install-sh into
> automake-using packages when --add-missing is used.  The authors of these
> other software packages are almost certainly not aware of this clause in the
> install-sh license and how it affects their programs.
> 
> This problem also applies to automake1.4, and probably all other versions as
> well.

Perhaps I'm being dense, but what do you want debian-legal to do about
this?  Clearly the authors of GNU Automake should get right with
licensing, but until and unless Debian is threatened by representatives
of MIT I don't think there's a reason to panic.

This issue should be brought to the attention of the automake upstream
maintainer(s).  That's a simple courtesy.  I do not think it is Debian's
job to enforce other people's copyrights.  Our only responsibilities in
this matter are to take reasonable steps to guard ourselves and our
users from copyright infringement liability.

Is your argument that because of the nature of GNU automake, it might be
causing our users to inadvertently infringe MIT's copyright?  If so,
that is indeed more serious, and the bug should be fixed by the Debian
maintainer.

Alternatively, we could just get someone to write a work-alike of MIT's
install program, place it into the public domain, and replace the one in
GNU automake with that.  I mean, come on, it's *install*.  It ain't
hard.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |      Mob rule isn't any prettier just
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      because you call your mob a
branden@debian.org                 |      government.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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