[tex-live] British hyphenation not freely distributable?

Gerben Wierda Sherlock at rna.nl
Sat Jul 26 11:56:50 CEST 2003

On Saturday, Jul 26, 2003, at 01:35 Europe/Amsterdam, Karl Berry wrote:

> I interpret this as being under the same rules as plain.tex, tex.web,
> and other files.  You're actually allowed to copy it to a new name and
> make changes, you just can't edit it "in place" and distribute the
> result with the same name.

That kind of protection is a different part of copyright law, which 
here in The Netherlands is called "fathership protection". It means 
that the author is protected against any adapted work being paraded as 
his own. This is also a right which you cannot waive by principle.

> This is obviously ok, or rms would never
> have accepted TeX as free software in the first place.

He might not have read every ile...

> My guess is that there are many other files with the same sort of
> non-copyright.

It is also in the Berne convention I think. It's a non-transferable. It 
also holds for any file that is under the LaTeX license.

BTW, there are differences in copyright between countries. For example, 
in The Netherlands you do not need to 'claim' copyright by adding a 
copyright statement, you have it (and fathership's rights) 

It is an intereasting legal question if the file name itself is 
copyright-protected. Otherwise, we would be able to rename ukhyph.tex 
to ukhyph-org.tex and have a new ukhyph.tex with a different license 
with no effect on existing installations. My guess about the 
copyrightable filename is that this would be silly to fall under the 
copyright. If a filename (even in combination with content) could be 
copyrighted we would have a lot of problems.

"To be or not to be, that is the question" -- Parmenides

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