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Bug#412310: marked as forwarded (Conflicting copyright claims)

Subject: Bug#412310: marked as forwarded Conflicting copyright claims
From: Debian Bug Tracking System
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 12:03:17 +0000
Your message dated Sun, 25 Feb 2007 12:57:56 +0100 (CET)
with message-id <[email protected]>
has caused the Debian Bug report #412310,
regarding Conflicting copyright claims
to be marked as having been forwarded to the upstream software
author(s) [email protected]

(NB: If you are a system administrator and have no idea what I am
talking about this indicates a serious mail system misconfiguration
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Debian bug tracking system administrator
(administrator, Debian Bugs database)

--- Begin Message ---
Subject: Bug#412310: Conflicting copyright claims fwd
From: Santiago Vila
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 12:57:56 +0100 CET

I received this from the Debian bug system:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Summerfield <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 20:19:57 +0900
Subject: Bug#412310: Conflicting copyright claims

Package: gettext
Version: 0.14.4-2
Severity: serious

Several (many?) files contain these lines, as identified with find|xargs grep
-2i public\ domain

./gettext-tools/examples/hello-c/autoclean.sh-# Example for use of GNU gettext.
./gettext-tools/examples/hello-c/autoclean.sh-# Copyright (C) 2003-2004 Free
Software Foundation, Inc.
./gettext-tools/examples/hello-c/autoclean.sh:# This file is in the public
[[email protected] ~]$

It's not clear to me whether Debian has the right to distribute this software:
if it's "in the public domain," then there is no problem but OTOH if the FSF
does hold the right to control who may make copies, then under what terms does
Debian do so?

I don't see how it can be both "in the public domain" and "copyright FSF," and I
don't see why the FSF wouldn't use the GPL (or maybe a BSD/MIT licence) in this

I'm reporting this so that Debian may consider the question and take appropriate
action, if only to record the matter's considered and that Debian may freely
distribute the software. Hopefully, an official from the FSF will concur with
Debian's decision.

I have attempted to discuss the question with two of the authors identified in
one of the documents; the address of one's no longer valid, and the other
doesn't see a problem. However, he also doesn't appease my concerns.



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