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Re: Bug#248853: 3270: 5250 emulation code, all rights reserved

Scripsit Andrew Saunders <syntaxis@gmx.co.uk>

> Appropriate X-Debbugs-CC header added. Let's see what the -legal
> eagles think.

The copyright file says

| The 5250 emulation code carries one more copyright:
|     5250 Emulation Code Copyright Minolta (Schweiz) AG, Beat
|     Rubischon.
| What this means is that you (whomever you may be) may use x3270 3.1
| for whatever purpose you desire, and the only restriction is that
| you include the above notices in each copy or derivative work you
| distribute.

This is a direct quote from the file */html/Lineage.html in the
upstream source. The (non-dodumentation) files that mention "Beat
Rubischon" are kybd.c and X3270.xad; they actually contain

   Derived from work (C) Minolta (Schweiz) AG, Beat Rubischon <bru@minolta.ch>

without any further clarification of the copyright status.

The material in X3270.xad does not seem to me to be creative enough to
sustain a copyight. In kybd.c, the copyright notice seems to cover
only the 40-line function FieldExit_action(). This is probably complex
enough that we should take copyright seriously for it.

It appears that the interpretative paragraph "What this means ..." is
the work of the main upstream author. What it says is demonstrably
false - that is *not* what a naked copyright notice means; a naked
copyright notice means, "all rights reserved, period". In the absence
of evidence to the contrary, we should conservatively assume that the
paragraph represents the main upstream's personal (and false)
supposition rather than a piece of independent information that he has
gotten from Minolta through other channels than the copyright notice

Therefore, the bug submitter is right: This software must be treated
as undistributable even in non-free unless we can unearth convincing
evidence that Minolta indeed does permit us to distribute code derived
from their work. Failing that, the only option is to do a cleanroom
reimplementation of FieldExit_action() and/or preventively lobotomize
the .orig.tar.gz we distribute through the archives.

Henning Makholm                         "You want to know where my brain is,
                                    spetsnaz girl? Do you? Look behind you."

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