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

I've already contacted upstream privately about this and he is all
over it. They will either rewrite it from scratch, or perhaps update
the licensing terms since it seems at one point install.sh was
distributed later on in X11R6 without these licensing terms. I'll keep
you posted.

* Branden Robinson (branden@debian.org) wrote:
> 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.

Eric Dorland <eric.dorland@mail.mcgill.ca>
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