Re: PS documentation file, no sources, author died
On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 6:21 AM, Rafael Laboissiere <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I have filed an ITP for octave-quartenion , a package from the
> Octave-Forge Project . Its latest released tarball  contains a
> documentation file doc/quartenion  in PostScript format for which no
> source is available. There is also no Copyright notice in the file
> itself, and there are no licensing conditions neither, although the
> DESCRIPTION file  claims that the whole package is distributed under
> the GNU GPL v3+. I think this violates the DFSG.
What makes you think that the .ps file is not "source code"?
If it isn't "source code" but you can transform it into something you
now consider "source code" and will use as the preferred form for
modification then in my opinion (IANAL) you can still comply with the
GNU GPLv3+ and fall under the DFSG.
> Otherwise, we could generate a LaTeX file that reproduces that PS file.
> If we do that, what should be the Copyright notice and the licence
It occurs to me that the courts might consider the LaTeX file a
derivative work of the PostScript file. Therefore the copyright would
be owned by the original author, with possibly additional copyright
for the person who did the transformation. The license would obviously
continue to be the GNU GPLv3+.
I strongly suggest that you talk to people who were associated with
upstream to find out if someone has source code or the original author
left it on one of his computers.
BTW, I suggest that in general Debian packages should have an active
upstream maintainer. Do you or someone else intend to take over
upstream development of this software?