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Re: JPL Planetary Ephemeris DE405

Hi Hibby,

I think that these files are public domain: First, they are originated
by nasa.gov, which is a U.S. governmental institution, and so they are
PD by law.

Then (and may be more important): These files are not copyrightable ad
all, since they are natural data; they describe *facts*. As one can't
copyright the distance to the moon, one can't copyright the details of
earth rotation.

I wanted to package these files as well

 * http://bugs.debian.org/842931 casacore-data-jplde
 * https://salsa.debian.org/debian-astro-team/casacore-data-jplde
but I stopped at some point since I couldn't create the binary database
in the required (casacore) format at the time. I could restart my
approach, and since the sources are identical, we could generate both
binaries from the same source.

What do you think?

Best regards


Hibby <d@vehibberd.com> writes:
> I am currently packaging wsjtx[1][2] for re-inclusion in Debian.
> In the code there is a binary - JPLEPH[3], which looks to be a compiled
> version of JPL Planetary Ephemeris[4]. Inspecting the binary, I assume
> the tool used was asc2eph, so I'm assuming it's the v405 ascii
> ephemerides files that were used. I'm contacting the upstream author to
> clarify this. Ideally I'd like to upload the source and build this file
> as part of the package build process.
> What I'm here to clarify is that I can't see a license for the ascii
> files - I'm not sure if this fileset is something that anyone in
> debian-legal have come across, or have any advice on what license they
> may have been released under? I can't see anything on the JPL FTP server
> outside of the CD Notes from the original release [5]. The contact
> detailed on them worked at JPL 21 years ago, and I don't reckon the
> email address is still active. 
> Any advice or suggestions you can offer would be greatly received!
> Thanks,
> Hibby
> [1] http://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/
> [2] https://tracker.debian.org/pkg/wsjtx
> [3]
> https://salsa.debian.org/debian-hamradio-team/wsjtx/tree/master/contrib/Ephemeris
> [4] https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?planet_eph_export
> [5] ftp://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/pub/eph/planets/CDROM.notes

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