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Re: [MiNT] ERIC SMITH, PLEASE!!! ;-) uname reply - a final proposition

>> On Wed, 3 Feb 1999, Martin-Eric Racine wrote:
>> > PS:  Atari Corp. is gone, so is the copyright on MiNT still an issue?
>> >      Can't we just finally use the more generic "MiNT" instead of
>> >      "Fresh/Free/Friggin/FryingMiNT" to identify our OS??
>> According to Eric Smith, it IS still an issue. (When he reminded us about
>> that on this list, Atari Corp was in exactly the same situation as it is
>> now). 

>Hell, even JTS Corp is now gone, so who's gonna complain?

The copyright is definitely still an issue -- my copyright is still
valid, and I'm sure that Atari's rights have been acquired by another
party (I think Hasbro probably got them at the same time as they
got the rights to Atari's games.)

The relevant section of the copying license is:

    b) any binary compiled from a modified version of the MiNT source
    code must, when executed, print a notice stating that it is
    a modified version of MiNT

The simplest way to do this is to print "FreeMiNT 1.14" instead of
"MiNT 1.14", so that's what I recommend. It's also what I
would prefer, personally -- I'd rather that "MiNT" be used only
for versions of the program that I released. It's mostly a sentimental
issue right now, since I'm not likely to want to release a new
version, but at one time I was concerned that people were making
incompatible changes to (and introducing bugs in) MiNT, and I didn't
want any confusion in the "marketplace" so to speak.

You could also print a notice like "this is not the original
version of MiNT", if you want. It's more verbose, but satisfies
the license requirement.

The third option would be to change the license. This is a LOT
harder, since doing so would require permission from all of the
copyright holders. That is me, whoever owns Atari's rights (probably
Hasbro), and anyone else who has contributed code to the kernel.
(Paragraph 2(c) of the license required them to release their code
under the same license; legally, since they put their code
under the original license, you would need their permission
to change the license.) As I said, I'd prefer not
change the license terms, but if everyone else (including
whoever now owns Atari's rights!) agreed, then I'd probably
relent. But frankly I don't think it's worth the effort -- surely
printing a notice at bootup time isn't *that* onerous!

Having said all that, I don't believe that the output of
"uname" is covered in any way by the MiNT (and FreeMiNT)
license, unless it's acquiring the string ("MiNT") that
it prints via a kernel call. It probably does make sense to call
the system *as a whole* a "MiNT" system, even if the kernel is
FreeMiNT rather than MiNT.