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Re: Pre-ITP - LARN and Noah Morgan

On Thu, Aug 25, 2005 at 09:39:03PM -0700, Alex Perry wrote:
> Nathan Tenny has the following note on a web page ...
> http://people.qualcomm.com/ntenny/larn.html
> > As an historical note: I've never really known anything
> > about Noah Morgan, the author of the original Larn and hence,
> > in some sense, the guy from whom I learned C. In looking
> > for the source code, I learned that he died in the late 1990s.

That's a problem.

> In an email on Aug 15 2005, Kevin wrote to Alex:
> > I proceeded on the casual assumption that Noah Morgan
> > and Don Kneller would have no issues with changes
> > being made and posted. They posted to a public forum,
> > and I seem to vaguely recall that their licensing
> > permitted changes and redistribution as long as their
> > original copyright statements were preserved. I never
> > heard anything from anyone to the contrary, but that
> > doesn't mean that it was "OK".
> Accordingly, we believe Noah and Don's intentions met DFSG.

The problem is that Noah's intentions are no longer relevent. The
decision falls to his heirs, whoever they may be. You need to find
them and get a license from them; this may be difficult as they might
not have an internet presence or even know that they hold the
copyright on this thing. There's a good chance they won't have any
idea what free software is.

If you can't find an explicit license from him, they're the only ones
who can let this thing be distributed at all. Also, if this is all in
the US, the heirs *might* be able to revoke any existing license, so
you should really contact them regardless (this is an untested legal
theory which has become popular over there in recent years).

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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