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Re: Bug#641449: arc: Ambiguous copyright license information


(I've added the debian-legal list as CC to get some advice on this
matter. For full-quote of the original mail see here:)


On 09/13/2011 04:11 PM, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
> These terms are incompatible with the GPL and in violation of DFSG. If they are
> correct then arc should be removed from Debian. If they are not correct then
> those files should be updated. I couldn't find a statement or discussion about
> a license change to GPL on the Web.

This was done through E-Mail. I contacted Thom Henderson (The original
author of MS DOS arc) in 2003 and asked him about putting arc under a
free license. His reply was "Do whatever you like. I don't care". Then I
contacted Howard Chu (The maintainer of the Unix version of arc) and he
decided to put it under the GPL. Together we (Howard and I) created the
arc project on Sourceforge, Howard uploaded the original sources of the
Unix version of arc and we added a COPYING file (GPL license) and a
LICENSE file which describes the license change. The comments in the
original source files were never changed.

Keep in mind that arc is a historical project which is no longer
actively developed for more than a decade. It is "preserved" on
SourceForge. I (as some kind of a co-author) try to keep it running and
have fixed some compilation issues in the last years. In my opinion arc
may still be useful for some people who are still running old dial-up
mailboxes on a modern Debian system. Personally I no longer use it. So
if someone more important than me (And I guess that's everyone in the
Debian Project) thinks the package should be removed then I have no
strong objections.

I could easily add an additional comment to the top of all source files
pointing readers to the LICENSE file which describes the license change.
But if this is not enough and I had to edit all existing comments which
mention outdated licensing information then I may consider removing this
old package instead. Any advice?

Bye, K <http://www.ailis.de/~k/>
[A735 47EC D87B 1F15 C1E9 53D3 AA03 6173 A723 E391]

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