[tex-live] Political showstopper

Alan T Litchfield alan at alphabyte.co.nz
Sun Sep 14 11:53:54 CEST 2003

Hi Karl,

It is so easy for the rights of the author to be snuffed. Publishers 
have practised this art for for the past three centuries.

The issue I mentioned was that the publisher has likely made the 
erroneous assumption that since the content is included on a CD that is 
itself published for free distribution, then the publisher can impose 
their own copyright restrictions upon that particular imprint. Their 
copyright would not extend to other imprints, but the onus is now on 
the community to extend its own rights upon the publisher, and to 
protect itself from such events in the future, make the necessary 
changes to distribution agreements so that the author community get 
appropriate recognition for their work and the cause of the community 
is advanced by way of promoting user groups, participation, etc.

Alan Litchfield

On Sunday, September 14, 2003, at 10:43  AM, Karl Berry wrote:

> Alan, thank you for writing.  I agree with almost everything you say.
> But this statement:
>     It is normal procedure for publishing companies to place
>     copyright restrictions on specific imprints of publications.
> That is true, but in the case at hand, I really do not believe that
> publishers get to put their copyright restrictions on others' work
> simply because they included it on a CD in their book.
> Of course, if the authors and/or publisher actually developed material
> that is included on the CD, they can use any copyright they wish, under
> the "mere aggregation" clause in the various free licenses.
> But that is a completely different matter than putting their copyright
> on the whole collection, comprised of free software which they
> themselves did not develop.  The only reason they have permission to
> redistribute it at all is because of the free licenses (otherwise it's
> "all rights reserved"), and those licenses clearly prohibit claiming it
> proprietary.
> This is a fundamental tenet of the free licenses.  If it could be
> overthrown by something as simple as putting a CD inside a book, free
> software would not exist.
> k
> P.S. I'd once again like to plead that we postpone all this
> licensing stuff until after the release.
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