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Re: Bug#251209: hwb: Upstream does not own the rights to the material

Quoting Göran Weinholt <weinholt@debian.org>:

> Package: hwb
> Severity: serious
> I talked to one of hwb's upstreams (Tomas Ögren) about licensing hwb
> under a DFSG free license. He told me that they couldn't do that,
> because they don't own the rights to the material. If they don't own
> the rights to the material, we can't distribute it.
> I believe that hwb therefore should be removed from Debian.

Hi Göran,

It was (and is) my understanding that all material in hwb was submitted to hwb
for inclusion __under the current hwb license__.  However, because not all the
contributors are available (in a couple of cases, I believe it's not known who
the contributors are even) logistically, it's not possible to contact them all 

If you do not own the rights for something it says nothing about whether you
have the right to distribute it.  It *does* mean that you can't summarily change
the license as I understand it.  I'm CCing debian-legal to make sure my
understanding is correct.

The license for hwb is:
Copyright The Hardware Book Team 1996-2001.  May be copied and redistributed,
partially or in whole, as appropriate.

This is clearly not DFSG free as it doesn't grant the right to modify, but it's
clearly distributable.

I've CCd the hwb team and hopefully they can clarify that my understanding is
correct.  If it is not correct then you are right, we can't distribute it.

If it turns out that we can't distribute hwb then I'll create an external
repository for the package.  It's very useful.

If nothing else, this bug has perked me up and I've noticed that there's a new
version of hwb out now, I'll package that as soon as I have a spare couple of

debian-legal people: I read -legal, no need to CC me but please keep the bug log
in the CC list

hwb people: similarly, I would greatly appreciate if you kept the bug log
(251209@bugs.debian.org) in the CC list.


Stephen Stafford               | Development and support consultant
<stephen@clothcat.demon.co.uk> | http://www.clothcat.org
<ssta@clothcat.org>            |   Never put off until tomorrow what you can
<bagpuss@debian.org>           |   con someone into doing for you today

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