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Re: How to free US governmental code

Walter Landry <wlandry@caltech.edu> writes:
> Ole Streicher <olebole@debian.org> wrote:
>> | Copyright 1992, The Regents of the University of California. This
>> | software was produced under U.S. Government contract (W-7405-ENG-36)
>> | by Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is operated by the University
>> | of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government
>> | is licensed to use, reproduce, and distribute this software. Neither
>> | the Government nor the University makes any warranty, express or
>> | implied, or assumes any liability or responsibility for the use of
>> | this software.
>> What are the experiences with this kind of copyright: are there any
>> chances to make it free?
> Looking around the ftp site
>   http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftp/
> there is a top level file "LICENSE" dated 2014 that looks like a
> simple BSD license for Wayne Landsman. 

As far as I understand the history of idlastro, Wayne collected parts of
the lib from other sources, and I am afraid that he did not really take
care of the individual license of each file he touched and included.
Otherwise he probably would have changed the license statement to BSD.

> Since Wayne is also listed as a contributor to eqpole_grid.pro, he
> should be sympathetic to relicensing.  A Google search for "Wayne
> Landsman Astronomy" turns up a likely contact at GSFC.  You should ask
> Wayne directly.  He would then contact the legal department at UC,
> though that would involve some work on his end.

I asked him, and I also found the (probable) original author and
contacted him.

> Also, are you planning on distributing
>   http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftp/pro/misc/blkshift.pro
> That and a few other files have a non-commercial use license.

Yes, but they look much less formal -- One author made already parts of
his software free (mpfit: under a non-standard ISC-alike license), and
the other already responded that he will help me to get his sources
free. The license above was just the one where I didn't know what to do

Best regards


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