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Re: "Preferred form for making modifications"


From: Bernd Jendrissek
Subject: Re: "Preferred form for making modifications"
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 08:56:37 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.7.10-20050929 ("Tahay") (UNIX) (Linux/2.6.11.3 (i686))

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In article <address@hidden> Rui
Miguel Silva Seabra <address@hidden> wrote:
>On Tue, 2006-02-21 at 11:32 +0000, Bernd Jendrissek wrote:
>> The reason I wonder is that there is still an awful lot of old
>> software floating around that is still useful to some people, and for
>> all I know the source code may be lost forever.  Supposing the
>> copyright holder can be tracked down, and is willing to cooperate, is
>> it conceivably possible to get all this stuff released under the GPL?
>
>And this is probably why the reasoning is a moot point.

???

>Can any of those programs actually do anything useful? Run at least?

My job requires me to work with TopSpeed C 3.10 which says Copyright
1992 when it starts up.  It's very useful for what we do with it:
building programs that run on a PC-104 80386 host in real mode.

AFAICT the current copyright holder seems to be Clarion but they only
sketchily even mention TopSpeed C in their history page.  I have no idea
if they'd want to GPL the thing but that's what made me wonder.

>Don't run if you can't walk.... it's better to just use public domain, I
>guess.

John Hasler made a similar point about using the MIT licence.  That
might not suit the copyright holder's whim; they might actually like the
"viral" nature of the GPL, even for binary-only abandonware.  They might
*like* the fact that licensees can't legally prevent further
redistribution of an improved version they derived.  Translations should
be easy enough to do, for example.
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