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Bug#424018: Some additional information


On Tue, 15 May 2007 Frank Küster <frank@debian.org> wrote: 
> so this is unclear.  I'm still filing as serious, since others have
> treated this program as non-free for a while, e.g. CTAN, and recently a
> SuSE license team research brought it up.

Quoting from README by Marcel J. E. Mol:
  The program is basicly an improved C version of the pascal
  program written by Svante Lindahl (see README.ORG).
  I translated it because I could not find a pascal compiler
  on our machine that could compile it.
  The program runs under UNIX and MSDOS without problems
  It should also run under VMS.
  (you may need some site dependend redefinitions, see below).

As far as I can make out dvi2tty.c and all the other source files
in the current package have Marcel J. E. Mol as the author.

The portion of dvi2tty.c quoted by Frank seems to have been put there
by the author as a historical note to clarify that the file is *based*
on the original Pascal program by Svante Lindahl.

IANAL, but as far as I can see, if I read someone else's program and
re-write it in another language, this is not very different from
reading someone else's algorithm and writing it as a program. If the
copyright in the latter case is with the author of the second program,
surely the copyright in the former case would be too.

The C files are in the preferred form for modification and no trace
of the original Pascal source remains in the package.

The copyright holder Marcel J. E. Mol for these source files has put
his work under the GPL and so the package seems to me to be DFSG free.



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