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Re: licensing question for "nom.tam.fits"

On Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:19:01 +0100 Kuno Woudt wrote:

> On 11/30/2012 02:01 PM, Florian Rothmaier wrote:
> >
> > fortunately, the upstream author Thomas MyGlynn made a new release for
> > which he added a statement that the code is in the public domain.

Hi Florian,
this seems to be really good news.
Thanks for informing us!

> > Thus my question is which license should be chosen in the case that
> > the sources are in the public domain?
> CC0 is the closest you can get to public domain, while still giving out 
> a valid license for those jurisdictions where public domain doesn't work.
> http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

I agree with Kuno that CC0 is basically equivalent to public domain,
while being much more robust for all the jurisdictions where it is not
possible (or not clear how) to dedicate a work to the public domain.

Hence, if you want to be as permissive as the upstream author, you are
recommended to use the CC0 dedication.

If instead you want to keep your own copyright for the debian/* files,
but you want to be fairly permissive nonetheless, I recommend you to
license those files under the terms of the Expat/MIT license:

I hope these suggestions may help.

P.S.: I would even recommend the upstream author (Thomas McGlynn) to
use the CC0 dedication, rather than his own "homemade" dedication
(which may be not legally sound enough to be actually valid in most

P.P.S.: I am not sure what you should write in the Copyright field for
the upstream files, but "(c) 1996-2012 by Thomas A. McGlynn" does not
look right, as long as the upstream work is really in the public domain
(which, as you probably know, means that the work is *not* subject to
The machine-readable debian/copyright file format specification v1.0
is not too clear on this point, unfortunately...
Maybe you should ask on the debian-policy mailing list and suggest that
this topic should be clarified in the specification.

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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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