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Re: copyright problem with install-sh, request for clean-room rewrite

From: Thomas Dickey
Subject: Re: copyright problem with install-sh, request for clean-room rewrite
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2018 11:35:03 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Mon, Sep 03, 2018 at 09:13:13AM -0500, Eric Blake wrote:
> Note that the most recent version of 'install-sh' as installed by Automake
> states:
> # Copyright (C) 1994 X Consortium

looking at my collection of untarred X sources, there's an issue with that:

The comment just before reads something like

# This originates from X11R5 (mit/util/scripts/, which was
# later released in X11R6 (xc/config/util/ with the
# following copyright and license.

however -

the first mention of copyright for any version of that file in X
sources was in 2003 (in xterm's sources), citing 1991.  xterm has
the 1994 date from autoconf (i.e.,. a secondhand report).

X's sources don't have that file...

The X11R5 file has this comment (no copyright notice):

# install - install a program, script, or datafile
# $XConsortium:,v 1.2 89/12/18 14:47:22 jim Exp $
# This script is compatible with the BSD install script, but was written
# from scratch.

There's an additional twist:  Thomas Roell made a script
mit/server/ddx/x386/etc/ derived from the X11R5
mit/util/scripts/, adding a copyright notice:

# Copyright 1990,91 by Thomas Roell, Dinkelscherben, Germany.

With all that, the available information shows that someone "fixed" things
in the early 2000s by adding a copyright date to address the derived work.

Perhaps autoconf's source repo has additional information.
As is, the copyright was apparently not applied by the owner of the file.

Thomas E. Dickey <address@hidden>

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