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Requirements for non-free?


I would like to package the program molmol (Description: Display and
analyze structures of biological macromolecules, ITP #199874) for Debian
Systems. It has a license that clearly forbids its inclusion in Debian,
but I hope it can be put in non-free.

The most problematic part is that the license requires explicit
permission by the authors if modified versions should be distributed -
and it has to be modified slightly just to make it policy-compliant. 

I have written e-mail to the author regarding this question (and not yet
gotten an answer). However, it is not clear to me how this permission
should look like and what rights it should include. I didn't find any
conclusive statements in the debian-legal archives, and I don't know
whether there are packages in non-free from which I could take a

I guess that permission to distribute would have to include permission
to distribute further modified versions, like security fixes, ASAP
without further contact to the authors. Permission for _anybody_ to
redistribute it is not necessary for non-free, right?

But, most importantly, who is "The Debian Project", which would be
granted the permission, in this sense? Everybody who runs a server with
a *.debian.org DNS name? Or are there more complete mirrors than these?
Or are the administrators of mirrors not responsible at all, but only
ftp-master? To whom would a written letter have to be addressed?

Any hints would be appreciated,

TIA, Frank
Frank Küster, Biozentrum der Univ. Basel
Abt. Biophysikalische Chemie

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