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Re: PS documentation file, no sources, author died

On Sat May 30 00:21, Rafael Laboissiere wrote:
> I would really like to distribute the documentation file but the upstream
> author died recently [6] and the chances are small that the sources can
> be found.  Is there any rule that applies to this case, I mean, when an
> author dies?

Copyright (at least in some important jurisdiction) applies for life +
70 years, so it still applies and would now be held by the author's

> A simple solution would be to strip the PS file from the tarball and,
> eventually, create an octave-quartenion-nonfree package containing it.
> 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
> statement?

The problem here is that either there is no copyright licence (in which
case we can't distribute it, even in non-free), or the blanket GPLv3
applies (which is, I think, reasonable to assume) in which case either
we have a source form, in which case it can go in main, or we don't, in
which case we can't distribute it, even in non-free as this violates the
licence agreement.

The post script definitely looks like it was generated from TeX (from
reading the PS source) so we really should try and find said source.
Alternatively, I think the reading of the GPL would suggest that if you
created a derivative work (eg, by machine translating it back to some
sort off TeX, or extracting the text and reformatting) then it would be
reasonable to distribute _with the preferred form of modification of
that derivative work_, which is your new, translated, TeX file.


Matthew Johnson

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