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Unclear source data situation

Hello all:

I'm in the process of packaging kstars-data-extra-tycho2 ( 
pkglist?action=details;package=kstars-data-extra-tycho2 ) and after long and 
detailed conversationw with original developer Mr. Akarsh Simha from KStars 
team, the point is as follows:

KStars distributes a file named deepstars.dat from its web. It is not part of 
the normal bundled KStars we have in Debian.

deepstars.dat is GPL as it is stated in 
http://edu.kde.org/kstars/downloads/knewstuff.xml and confirmed by Mr. Simha.

The data KStars team used was downloaded from now-offline NASA ADC, whose use 
policy can be seen today at 

It mentions that data is in the Public Domain unless specified in the ReadMe 
file. The ReadMe can be visited today in 
bin/adc/cat.pl?/catalogs/1/1259/ and seems to be the same than actually-
available ReadMe at CDS: http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/myqcat3?I/259/

So, trusting all that, deepstars.dat is a GPL file based on PD data.

Doubt arises from the fact that Tycho-2 data was announced by Mr. Erik Høg et 
al in 2000 at Astronomy and Astrophysics (paper can be retrieved at 
http://www.astro.ku.dk/~erik/Tycho-2/letter.pdf) and published on 8 Feb. 2000 
but its Guide (available at http://www.astro.ku.dk/~erik/Tycho-2/guide.pdf ) 
does not mention anything about licensing, and data available at CDS does not 
do it, neither. Mr. Høg has not answered me when I contacted him.

Moreover, data of the Tycho-2 catalog comes from observations by the Hipparcos 
mission of ESA, and we have no License statement from ESA, anyway.

As the package is to be sponsored and about to enter Debian, I would like 
clarification about this all, since we (Mr. Simha and myself) want to have 
this as clear as possible to avoid damages to both projects (Debian and 

As a last resort, it would be possible to create a new deepstars.dat using 
only USNO NOMAD data (we have confidence that it is PD). It could be 
functionally equivalent for the program, but it will not be the Tycho2 catalog 
as users could expect.

many thanks

kstars-data-extra-tycho2 (prospective) maintainer

P.S. Please maintain CC to Mr. Simha

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