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[gNewSense-users] Vague Copyright "Notice"

From: Peter Rock
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Vague Copyright "Notice"
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 11:38:46 +0800

I found the following notice in two packages (expect & expect-tcl8.3)...

What do folks think about this? It is not a clear notice. The note
says what "management" "will eventually say" but "eventually" is not
now. I've sent an email but no response yet. I've simply labeled them
as "unsure". Should I file a bug?

Other than that, the two sections of MainE are now finished!


This package was debianized by David Engel <address@hidden>
from sources obtained from
It is now maintained by Mike Markley <address@hidden>.


#5. Do we need to pay or ask for permission to distribute Expect?

From: libes (Don Libes)
To: Mohammad Reza Jahanbin <address@hidden>
Subject: Copyright Question.
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 93 23:46:24 EST

Mohammad Reza Jahanbin writes:
>Before anything let me thank you on behalf of ComputeVision R&D for
>putting so much effort into Expect. Part of CV has been using Expect
>for the past two years or so to build variety of tools including an
>automated testbed for a product.
>CV is currently considering shipping the automated testbed to some of its
>retailers, to enable them to perform their own tests before distributing
>the product.
>The Question is, are we allowed to ship Expect? Do we need to ask
>anyone for permission? Do we need to say or write anything in the
>documentation? Do we need to pay for it?
>I have not been able to find any copyright (or indeed copyleft) notices
>in the usual Expect distribution. Would you be able to clarify our position.

Sorry to delay in responding.  I sent your request to my management
and they had to discuss it (if they didn't, there would be no reason
to pay them).  While they continue to discuss it, I can tell you
informally the gist of what they will eventually say:

You are allowed to do just about anything with Expect.  You can even
sell it.  You need not ask our permission.  You need not pay for it.
(It is my understanding that your tax dollars, in effect, already have
paid for it.)

You should not claim that you wrote it (since this would be a lie), nor
should you attempt to copyright it (this would be fruitless as it is a
work of the US government and therefore not subject to copyright).

NIST would appreciate any credit you can give for this work.  One line
may suffice (as far as I'm concerned) although there should be
something to the effect that this software was produced for research
purposes.  No warantee, guarantee, or liability is implied.

My management is always interested in feedback on our work.  If you
would like to send letters of praise describing how Expect has helped
your business, we would be delighted.  Letters (on letterhead please)
are strong evidence used by policy makers when deciding where every
dollar goes.  If you want to send these letters to NIST directly, you
may send them to the following individuals:

Arati Prabahkar, Director
Admin Bldg, Rm A-1134
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Ric Jackson, Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory
Bldg 220, Rm B-322
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Howard Bloom, Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
Bldg 220, Rm A-127
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Steve Ray, Manufacturing Collaboration Technologies Group
Bldg 220, Rm A-127
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

In case you're wondering about the uninformative titles, Arati Prabahkar is the
director of all of NIST (about 3000 people) and Steve Ray (way down there
at the bottom) is my immediate supervisor (and of 10 other very lucky people).

I hope this has answered your questions.  Let me know if you have
further questions.

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