[tex-live] copyright of texlive

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sat Sep 13 13:58:51 CEST 2003


Sebastian, I hate to say it, but that is not exactly the correct
statement to make.  There *are* conditions (in GPL cases among others),
namely that the software remains free.

If you feel the need to make any statement at all, perhaps something
like this:
  TeX Live contains only free software, meaning in general that you may
  copy, modify, and redistribute the software therein without explicit
  permission or payment.  However, the exact details differ for each
  software package, so please consider each individually when making
  changes or redistributing.

One thing that is definitely *not* permitted is to claim your own
copyright on TeX Live as a whole, and disallow modification and

Of course you can use any license you want for your own work that is
completely independent of what is on TL, but if the license is not
Debian-compatible, please do not call the result simply "TeX Live"; that
leads to horrible confuson.

There is no single entity which holds the copyright on the TeX Live
compilation.  It is comprised of hundreds of individual works.
Therefore, as a practical matter, the only reasonable thing to do is
omit any copyright statement of TL as a whole.  

    I am not sure what to do about "Digital Typography using LaTeX". Maybe
    we should be looking at taking the publisher to court on this.

Before doing something as drastic as going to court, of course we should
attempt to settle the situation amicably.  In all likelihood (based on
what I know of GPL infringements in the past), it was an innocent
mistake, albeit a very serious one.


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