[tex-live] Political showstopper

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sat Sep 13 21:25:11 CEST 2003

At 10:35 13/09/2003 -0400, Karl Berry wrote:

>     Could there be another option splitting those people into 2 groups: any
>     individual could do that, and any company should ask (negociate?) the
>     non-exclusive right to use it?
>No.  That would make it non-free.
>We cannot stop ignorant and/or unethical companies from making invalid
>or illegal statements in advance.  Nor do I think that this is a reason
>to penalize all the honest companies, not to mention individuals, not to
>mention user groups, by not producing or not working on TeX Live any
>By analogy, the GPL has been infringed many times, usually through
>ignorance or misunderstanding.  When rms find out, he talks to them
>about it and gets them to correct it (so far, without having to go to
>court).  He doesn't stop working on the GNU project.

I think that we can make a distiction. As far as i know, it has been free 
software people pushing the tl people to the limits in ensuring everything 
to be free. I'm pretty sure that all those linux vendors who demands the 
tex things to be free, don't permit users to copy and sell their 
cdroms/dvd's. So, there is a difference between the product (software) 
being free and copying the whole thing as is and selling it.

I think that it's pretty legal in the sense of free software to put some 
demands in the perspective of protecting users. For instance: the DTUL 
cdrom has a pre tex live 7 version so what kind of support are user groups 
expected to give? Demands could be: the cd as it is (with lion and inprint) 
and a written statement about its origin, authors and permissions. Many of 
our users are not experts in repackeging (read: sebastians, thomasses and 
fabrices), but depend on those people who spent time doing this. User 
groups should safeguard proper usage and publishers should listen to them.

So, maybe distributing tex live should be closely connected to how it is 
distributed in order to function in the arena of user groups.


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