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Re: graywolf (TimberWolf) and licensing

Ruben Undheim <ruben.undheim@gmail.com> writes:

> He then got this response:
> ""
> Your inquiry below was forwarded to me. Yale would appreciate it if
> you would simply state that the software was developed at Yale. That
> said, we don’t have any specific text that you should cite specifying
> copyright ownership, etc.
> Hope this helps,
> xxx
> ""

That statement only addresses a copyright *notice*; that is, a notice
stating which party holds copyright and what are the years of
publication. The response indicates they don't require any particular
copyright notice on the work.

That's correct, as far as it goes; copyright notices are formalities and
are helpful to recipients, but are not required in any particular format
(or at all) for copyright law to be effective.

The problem you point out, though, still remains: None of the above
seems to constitute a *grant* of license, IMO. That would take the form
of the copyright holder explicitly stating “<recipient foo> may <do
specific action bar> under the terms of <specific license terms baz>”.

> My gut feeling tells me that we will need some more explicit open
> source statement from the developers for having it included in debian.

You're right, for the work to be in Debian it needs an explicit license
grant to all recipients under free-software terms.

For the work to be distributed via the project's infrastructure (whether
in Debian or not) we need specific grant of license to do that.

> But maybe it is enough to just refer to the email thread. They have
> not said that Tim cannot place it under the GPL when he said he will
> do it.

I think that's not enough to constitute a grant of license.

But it may be enough that the work was *already* distributed under free
software terms from its earlier copyright holder. What writing from the
copyright holder do you have for that?

 \           “In case you haven't noticed, [the USA] are now almost as |
  `\     feared and hated all over the world as the Nazis were.” —Kurt |
_o__)                                                   Vonnegut, 2004 |
Ben Finney

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