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Bug#597202: ITP: kstars-data-extra-tycho2 -- Contains the Tycho2 star catalog for centralized install, avoiding per-user install

On Lunes 20 Septiembre 2010 21:58:41 Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña escribió:
> Please confirm with them that this *derived* data from the Tycho-2 can be
> indeed GPL-licensed. I would be very surprised if this is the case (I've
> had contact with some producers of star data catalogues in the past) but
> if it is fine.
> We packaged the Gliese and Yale packages as they are right now (in non-free
> and including the original sources with data files for starplot generated
> on install) as the upstream authors would not allow for modification of
> the star data catalogs.
> Throughout the years maintainers (both Debian and upstream's) have learnt
> of this "the hard way", i.e.  bugs in celestia: #174456, stellarium
> #198495, kstars #198499, xephem 225002 and stars: #246047, gstar #246048,
> openuniverse #246049.
> Some upstream developers (kstars') were very helpful in the past. When we
> took this issue up with them, the kstars team (Jason Harris mainly) digged
> up contacts with the catalog providers.
> This is what someone from CDS replied (when asked about Hipparcos and SAO
> catalogs):
> : Catalogues available at CDS contain scientific data distributed
> : for free, for a scientific usage. Only the expenses related to
> : copying and mailing are charged if relevant.
> : Companies including such data in their commercial products cannot
> : charge their clients for the data. Furthermore, users must be informed
> : of the origin of the data: this means an explicit reference to the
> : service provided by the CDS and also to the original author(s) of each
> : catalogue.
> So this initially made the catalogs used by kstars non-free, they then
> contacted people at ESA which confirmed that Hipparcos was in the
> public-domain:
> :  Hello Jason,
> :  
> :  The Hipparcos data is in the public domain and may be used
> :  by anyone. We do request however that use of the catalogue data
> :  
> :   is acknowledged. Something similar to "This application
> :  
> :  makes use of the  Hipparcos and Tycho catalogues (ESA, 1997)"
> :  could be appropriate, and a link to the ESA Hipparcos web pages
> :  (http://sci.esa.int/hipparcos) would also be appreciated.
> :  
> :  Can I enquire what you would like to use the catalogue for?
> :  
> :  Regards,
> :  Karen O'Flaherty
> As a consequence kstars switch to the Hypparcos catalog (and many other
> astronomy packages too).
> Since the main author of the Tycho2 catalog is Erik Høg I suggest asking
> the kstars developed if they have contacted him regarding the catalog and,
> if not, get clarification from him
> > > Actually, I believe that the fact that the catalog is not provided
> > > *within* the kstars program is certainly because it is not considered
> > > free.
> > 
> > I believe instead that the fact that the catalog is not provided *within*
> > the
> (...)
> > own set of predefined stars up to the visual magnitude. Datafile authors
> > (which are, by the way, two of the same authors of the program itself)
> > say the datafile is GPL, so I can not think they decided not to include
> > it because of it being not free.
> Please, take this up with upstream for clarification because in the past
> other upstreams have made the same assumptions which turned out not to be
> valid with other catalogs (i.e. yale). It would be best to seek
> clarification from the author.  I don't see GPL anywhere at
> http://www.astro.ku.dk/~erik/Tycho-2/, in fact, I don't see any reference
> to licenses at all so I'm quite sure the original author do not stamped a
> GPL license to the data.
> Since upstream developers (kstars) where very open to discussion and where
> really helpful when we brought to them this issue 7 years ago, they
> probably have researched this issue, but a statement from the original
> author of the catalog (to be used in debian/copyright) would be good to
> have.
> Regards
> Javier

I will contact kstars developers about that, as you suggest. I really do not 
want to get Debian into (more) legal issues like those you name. I will try to 
get the statement from Erik Høg too (mailed him yesterday, no answer as of 

Moreover, the cite from Karen O'Flaherty mentions both Hipparcos and Tycho. 
Does it refer just to Tycho 1 ?

Thanks for all the work and advice

er Envite

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