[tex-live] free software, DFSG

Stepan Kasal kasal at ucw.cz
Fri Jun 4 08:01:23 CEST 2004

  I'm afraid this was discussed ad nausea; please point me to a FAQ if
it exists somewhere.
  The TeXlive licence info says that its contents is available under
various licences, which are all Free (as defined by FSF or DFSG).
But according to my information the macros from plain.tex are not
"free software" (as defined by FSF), because if I reuse them, the
file may not be named "plain.tex".
  I understand that stating that TeXlive is free software is a nice
advertising clause, but it's not true.  I'm afraid TeXlive copyright
notice should say that the licences are free, but some packages
(as the core TeX) bear a requirement that any modified version has
to have different name.
  This arrangement would be much mor fair than the current one.

As you might know, this discussion was triggered by problems with
a macro package written by Petr Olsak.  Petr Olsak is definitely the
best TeXpert in Czech Republic, kind of "local Knuth".  ;-)
He decided to follow Knuth's example with the licensing model, and
I'd think it wouldn't be honest to let him contribute to TeXlive
under this model.  (Though I personally wouldn't choose such licence
for my works.)
  If TeXlive is built on TeX, I think it's bound to accept "Knuthian"
from everyone, not only from DEK himself.

I understand things would be much less complicated if the TeX licence
were different, but that's not the case.

Have a nice day,
	Stepan Kasal

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