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Re: IRAF package license

Justin Pryzby writes:

> I'll mail them today.  The UCAR/NCAR routines are:
> 	"Copyright (C) 1986 by UCAR"
> and the LZW compression routine algorithm, which will be allowed in
> Debian main shortly has: 
> 	        Date of Patent: Dec. 10, 1985
> Are the UCAR routines copyright of the type that will expire (this
> year?)?

Rules on expiration are (very!) different for patents and copyrights.

US patents expire 20 years from filing or 17 years from issue,
whichever is later[1].  At least until Disney strikes again, US
copyrights on works for hire (the UCAR/NCAR routines seem to be such)
expire 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever
is earlier; copyrights owned by a natural person (or natural persons)
expire 70 years after the last surviving author's death.  In every
case, copyrights expire on January 1.

[1]- The LZW compression patent expired last year; I think the delay
for main was due to similar non-US patents.


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