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smssend - GPLv2 without SSL exception - What to ask to upstream ?

Hi debian-legal, 

smssend was removed from Debian due to licensing issues (#399685 and
#487523). As far as I understand it, the problem is/was the following :

* the code efectively links to OpenSSL (through skyutils2)
* its licence is GPLv2+ _without_ OpenSSL exception
* the upstream author was unreachable (email address is now dead - domain
for sale and without MX).

Assuming that :
* I would be willing to handle upstream and Debian packaging
* I would be able to contact the upstream author, either per email or per
written mail.

What should I ask the upstream author to do ?

* Re-licence with OpenSSL exception => I would be able to "fork".
* Make the code "Public domain" => ditto, but possible ?
* Grant me or some{body,thing} the intellectual property => FSF, SPI ?
        => Would this organisation then be allowed to relicence as needed ?

My guess is that the upstream author has forgotten for long his program and
would prefer the "easiest", but which one is it ?

Best regards,

Swisslinux.org − Le carrefour GNU/Linux en Suisse −

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