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Re: New package problems

On Sunday 28 February 1999, at 17 h 1, the keyboard of John Travers 
<travs@netscape.net> wrote:

> 1. It has no copyright notice. No email contacts and about four names of those
> who wrote it. Apparantly it was some sort of university project. Anyway I
> cannot contact anyone 

I very often have the same problem with my biology packages 
<http://www.pasteur.fr/units/sis/debian/biology-en.html>. Most authors do not 
bother to write a licence.

Samuel Tardieu wrote a correct summary. It is harsh but dinstall will not let 
you install a program without licence, anyway. Insistence on the authors seem 
the only way.

Here is the mail I send to authors:

Second, I would like, in the case of agreement, in which section
to put the package. We (Debian) have a "main" section where
all the software which meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines
<http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines> go. A "non-free"
section is available for the programs which, in one way or the other,
fail to meet these requirments but can still be distributed, at least via
the Internet (software which bans selling cannot be distributed on CDROMs,
which is a big problem for Third world countries, where downloading via
the network is often not an option).

I do not find a specific document describing PACKAGENAME's licence. You
say on the Web page it's free but the word is terribly ambiguous in
english <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html> so I prefer to
check. Can we distribute and use PACKAGENAME according to the above
DFSG? Which means, among others, that registration should be volunteer
and commercial use allowed.

Regarding the issue of licensing, I suggest, rather than to write a
specific licence for PACKAGENAME, to simply refer to an existing licence,
which is simpler and less prone to errors. I suggest the GNU General
Public Licence (GPL).  See <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html>,
<http://www.debian.org/misc/bsd.license> and
<http://language.perl.com/misc/Artistic.html> for examples.

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