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Re: Maxima: Difficult US export restriction issue

(Sorry if this is a dupe. The news.gmane.org news-to-email gateway may
be having problems so I've replied in the traditional way from my email

Hi Sam Hartman,

> Is there some reason you cannot include that paragraph in the text that
> invokes the GPL in every source file?  Would that not be sufficient?

If you look though the source files (maxima-src) you will find that
currently only three mention the GPL: flatten.lisp, powers.lisp and
macsys.lisp (the third as part of the interactive text). It would
require rewriting 172 files in the base directory alone.*

Furthermore incorporation into the GPL preamble seems to be the only way
to honour the request that "... the previous paragraph should be
included in the GPL ..." and resolve the issue so people don't continue
to raise how Maxima can even be distributed under the GPL.

> Also, unless sections of 15 CFR have been renumbered, I believe the
> citation to the EAR is wrong.

I intended it for inclusion as an historical oddity that was hopefully
current at the time the ESTSC wrote the letter. I only think its
important to copy the paragraph from the letter to satisfy the request.

But I'm open to relaying to the developers what Debian legal considers
sufficient, even the status quo (I DO NOT speak on their behalf).


*There's also the issue that this is a relicensing. William Schelter
(now deceased) decided to release Maxima under the GPL and only 144 of
the files in the base directory contain his copyright notice. Some of
the remainder may be essentially unmodified from their pre-GPL history.
I don't like to see hijacking of (virtually) identical code with claims
it is licensed under the GPL (of course I have no issue with the entire
work being a derived work licensed under the GPL).

Poor Example (this appears to be new code): set.lisp. The header states:

;; Support for Maxima sets.
;; Author: Barton Willis
;; Send bug reports to willisb@unk.edu

;; This code is in the public domain.  It has no warranty. Use this
;; code at your own risk.

Better Examples:

;;; -*-  Mode: Lisp; Package: Maxima; Syntax: Common-Lisp; Base: 10 -*-
;;;Translated on: 5/12/85 13:46:23;;Maxima System version 8

;;; -*-  Mode: Lisp; Package: Maxima; Syntax: Common-Lisp; Base: 10 -*-

;    ** (c) Copyright 1976, 1983 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(in-package "MAXIMA")

;These are the main routines for finding the Laplace Transform
; of special functions   --- written by Yannis Avgoustis
;                        --- modified by Edward Lafferty
;                       Latest mod by jpg 8/21/81
;   This program uses the programs on ELL;HYP FASL.

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