I have recently become the Debian package maintainer of scsh. I have
already updated it to 0.6.4 and fixed some nasty packaging bugs, but
in the course of checking if everything is OK, I have found some
non-free copyright licenses in some files.
I was kinda hoping that these were outdated licenses that should have
been replaced by a reference to the top-level COPYING file during the
relicensing that happened between 0.5.1 and 0.5.2, but I have to
check. So, could someone please tell me with certainty whether the
respective copyright owners of the following files did, back in
1997/1999, agree to a relicensing under the terms of the top-level
COPYING file? If yes, could you please point me to evidence of it
(emails of them, for example), so that I can show it to the relevant
Debian authorities? Thank you very much.
If we cannot confirm that these non-free licenses are not in effect
any more, scsh will have to be pulled out of Debian. Packages might
still be distributed through the Debian mirror network, with a
"non-free" shame mark, though.
Here are the "problem files" we found:
;;; 2. Users of this software agree to make their best efforts (a) to return
;;; to the T Project at Yale any improvements or extensions that they make,
;;; so that these may be included in future releases; and (b) to inform
;;; the T Project of noteworthy uses of this software.
;;; 3. All materials developed as a consequence of the use of this software
;;; shall duly acknowledge such use, in accordance with the usual standards
;;; of acknowledging credit in academic research.
srfi/srfi-13.scm and srfi-14.scm contain similar stuff, with the MIT
scheme project instead of T Project at Yale.
; * COPYRIGHT (c) 1988-1994 BY *
; * PARADIGM ASSOCIATES INCORPORATED, CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. *
; * ALL RIGHTS RESERVED *
;Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute and sell this software
;and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby
;granted, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies
;; However, this document itself may not be modified in any way
Urgh... This suggests one is totally forbidden to change this file!
But I have some doubts that this is really the copyright notice of the
SRFI implemented there, not of the implementation itself. But why is
this copyright notice there, in the implementation?
scsh/db.scm, dbm.scm and glob.scm :
;;; This code is freely available for use by anyone for any purpose,
;;; so long as you don't charge money for it,
Thank you very much for your help in untangling this legal uncertainty,
P.S.: The addresses in the headers for myself and JoostVB are
temporary ones, because we are afraid of spam bots. These
addresses will be valid for at least a month or so (so, you can
just reply to this email and we'll get your answer), but people
reading this in some sort of archive might want to write to us
on our long-term addresses:
Mine is "my first name" <at> my last name. The top-level domain
name following this is the two first letters of luxembourg.
The address of JoostVB address is the fourth word of this
sentence, in the domain ccdm (spelled backwards) in the
top-level domain name constituted of the initials of "Cristo
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