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Nethack General Public License

Copyright (c) 1989 M. Stephenson

(Based on the BISON general public license,
copyright 1988 Richard M. Stallman)

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
license, but changing it is not allowed. You can also use this wording to
make the terms for other programs.

The license agreements of most software companies keep you at the mercy of
those companies. By contrast, our general public license is intended to give
everyone the right to share NetHack. To make sure that you get the rights we
want you to have, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone to deny you
these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. Hence this license

Specifically, we want to make sure that you have the right to give away
copies of NetHack, that you receive source code or else can get it if you
want it, that you can change NetHack or use pieces of it in new free
programs, and that you know you can do these things.

To make sure that everyone has such rights, we have to forbid you to
deprive anyone else of these rights. For example, if you distribute copies
of NetHack, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You
must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you
must tell them their rights.

Also, for our own protection, we must make certain that everyone finds out
that there is no warranty for NetHack. If NetHack is modified by someone
else and passed on, we want its recipients to know that what they have is
not what we distributed.

Therefore we (Mike Stephenson and other holders of NetHack copyrights) make
the following terms which say what you must do to be allowed to distribute or
change NetHack.


  1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of NetHack source code as
    you receive it, in any medium, provided that you keep intact the notices on
    all files that refer to copyrights, to this License Agreement, and to the
    absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the NetHack
    program a copy of this License Agreement along with the program.
  2. You may modify your copy or copies of NetHack or any portion of it, and
    copy and distribute such modifications under the terms of Paragraph 1 above
    (including distributing this License Agreement), provided that you also do the

    a) cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you
    changed the files and the date of any change; and

    b) cause the whole of any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is a...ivative of NetHack or any part
    thereof, to be licensed at no charge to all third parties on terms
    identical to those contained in this License Agreement (except that you
    may choose to grant more extensive warranty protection to some or all
    third parties, at your option)

    c) You may charge a distribution fee for the physical act of
    transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection
    in exchange for a fee.

  3. You may copy and distribute NetHack (or a portion or...ivative of it,
    under Paragraph 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
    Paragraphs 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

    a) accompany it with the complete machine-readable source code, which
    must be distributed under the terms of Paragraphs 1 and 2 above; or,

    b) accompany it with full information as to how to obtain the complete
    machine-readable source code from an appropriate archive site. (This
    alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution.)

    For these purposes, complete source code means either the full source
    distribution as originally released over Usenet or updated copies of the
    files in this distribution used to create the object code or

  4. You may not copy, sublicense, distribute or transfer NetHack except as
    expressly provided under this License Agreement. Any attempt otherwise to
    copy, sublicense, distribute or transfer NetHack is void and your rights to
    use the program under this License agreement shall be automatically
    terminated. However, parties who have received computer software programs
    from you with this License Agreement will not have their licenses terminated
    so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

Stated plainly: You are permitted to modify NetHack, or otherwise use parts
of NetHack, provided that you comply with the conditions specified above;
in particular, your modified NetHack or program containing parts of NetHack
must remain freely available as provided in this License Agreement. In
other words, go ahead and share NetHack, but don't try to stop anyone else
from sharing it farther.

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