[tex-live] free software, DFSG

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Fri Jun 4 14:48:33 CEST 2004

    But according to my information the macros from plain.tex are not
    "free software" (as defined by FSF), 

That's incorrect.  The "Knuth license" where something must be renamed
before it can be modified, is free software according to the FSF.  (Not
GPL-compatible, but that's a different story.)  This is implicit because
rms has always said that the GNU system will (and does) include TeX.  He
also stated that the LPPL (even the first version) was free software.

Not that I'm saying he likes or recommends the "must rename" licenses;
he doesn't.  But he still considers them free.

    I understand that stating that TeXlive is free software is a nice
    advertising clause, but it's not true.  

Yes it is, to the best of our knowledge.  Please don't state opinions as

    If TeXlive is built on TeX, I think it's bound to accept "Knuthian"
    from everyone, not only from DEK himself.

What gets into TL is a judgment by Sebastian, there is no other
authority.  (Yes you are a dictator, Sebastian, although a pretty
benevolent one. :)

I agree with Sebastian that the "must rename" license is problematic in
practice and does not actually prevent any abuses.  However, it is still
free (and I didn't see anything from Sebastian stating the contrary).

For myself, I see no problem with including OFS in TL, except possibly
lack of space.

As Hans said, it will be included on the DVD (as part of CTAN and/or
texmf-extra) in any case.


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