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Re: shc -- #335278 broken packaging -- non-DD NMU prepared

[ Cc-ing the bug report, so we have it in the bts, too ]


* George Danchev <danchev@spnet.net> [060627 21:21]:

> > points mentioned in franks original bug report:
> > >  1.2 debian/copyright: "This package has many utilities that are GPL
> > >      or close to GPL code." "close to GPL"???
> > >      "The original source code was published on the Net by a group of
> > >      cypherpunks. I picked up a modified version from the news."
> > >      Quite a license...
> Unfortunately this is out of my control. I've sent two emails to the upstream 
> (as well as CC'ed maintainer) asking for these legal issues to be clarified 
> somehow in a reasonable way, but no any feedback as of yet... for more than 
> month or so. 

I took a look at it.

Let's start with something simple:
- According to the header, the script "match" was workexp@csc.liv.ac.uk.
  It has no explicit license, but is so easy and short, that I don't
  think one could claim copyright for that (the german word for that
  would be "Schöpfungshöhe").  I don't think the missing license of that
  script is a problem, but the author should be mentioned in the
  copyright file.
- Now the real problem: shc.c

Lookit at it we have:

 * This software contains the 'Alleged RC4' source code.
 * The original source code was published on the Net by a group of cypherpunks.
 * I picked up a modified version from the news.
 * The copyright notice does not apply to that code.


 * 'Alleged RC4' Source Code picked up from the news."
 * From: allen@gateway.grumman.com (John L. Allen)"
 * Newsgroups: comp.lang.c"
 * Subject: Shrink this C code for fame and fun"
 * Date: 21 May 1996 10:49:37 -0400"

This post can be found at [1].

Well... no license for this code, no implicit or explicit grant of any
rights... not even an "make whatever you want with this code".  I don't
think we can distribute this, and I don't think this bug is fixed yet ;)

You mentioned you allready mailed upstream, but has anyone tried to
contact the original poster of that code?  Ask him, if he put his code
to public domain when posting it to that newsgroup or if he could
license it under GPL.  That would the solve the problem and everything
would be fine.

  1: http://groups.google.de/group/comp.lang.c/browse_thread/thread/515617a2156da21e/d177a8bf6b984e27?lnk=st&q=Shrink+this+C+code+for+fame+and+fun+comp.lang.c&rnum=1#d177a8bf6b984e27

Yours sincerely,


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