[tex-live] Political showstopper

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sat Sep 13 19:43:31 CEST 2003

    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 

Yes they do.

Sometimes Linux vendors add proprietary software to their distributions,
and resellers have to remove the proprietary portions.  But the basic
GNU/Linux system, covered by the GPL and other free software licenses,
may be resold by anyone for any price under any packaging.

    so what kind of support are user groups expected to give? 

No warranty or support is implied or promised for *any* version of TL by
*any* user group or individual, as far as I know.  That's what the
licenses say, anyway.

    how about something along these lines:

The additional *requirements* you propose in (1), (2), and (4) are
incompatible with DFSG, e.g., the GPL and LPPL.  Impossible.

We can (and should, and do) request such common courtesy and common
sense from the publishers, but we cannot legally require it.  As for (3):

    (3) they may in no way claim any copyrights, 

Absolutely correct.  And we must defend our copyright against anyone who
erroneously does that.  

    and should mention explicitly where one can get / download a cd
    i.e. the latest version etc. (this text can replace the copyright
    text they put there now); i can imagine that the tl team / user
    groups prescribe the text

As a "should" sort of thing, I agree; but it cannot be a legal requirement.

    still, the publisher should know that he's pretty wrong, so if we
    write the others there is no reason not to copy the LFD one; we
    should treat all publishers in an uniform way


    just curious: may people copy debian cd's and sell them under their
    own name?

Yes.  There are companies which do this, and ones that resell Red Hat
too, and most likely all the major distributions.

This doesn't mean that they get to claim they wrote it, or remove any
authorship files, or to claim copyright on anything they didn't actually
develop themselves.  They absolutely do *not* get to do any of that.

However, a cd label or the overall collection name are not part of the
software, so there is no way to impose particular legal requirements.
That's part of what free software implies.  For instance, rms cannot
*require* everyone to call the-most-widely-used-free-os "GNU/Linux"; he
can only request.


P.S. I'd once again like to plead that we postpone this whole discussion ...

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