[tex-live] licensing issues with sorhyph.tex

frank frank at kuesterei.ch
Tue Jun 28 10:08:47 CEST 2005

Dear Edward,

Werner LEMBERG <wl at gnu.org> wrote:

> Edward,
> to include your sorhyph.tex in the TeXLive distribution (and teTeX) we
> need a license which isn't as restrictive as the current one you have
> in the file:
>   % Non-commercial usage and usage in TeX-related programs only
>   % Packaging with commercial stuff only with written permission
>   % of the author

I think we owe an explanation *why* this license is too restrictive.
The problem is that free TeX systems like TeXLive (or Linux
distributions with teTeX) often *do* get sold.  Even if there is just a
TeXLive CD as an add-on to a book about TeX, for a lawyer this means
selling TeXLive, and thus selling any file in it.  Similarly, if
Lehmann's offer a TeXLive CD with their name on it for what is hardly
more than the cost of distribution, it is still commercial.

Therefore, in order to be able to distribute the file with TeX systems,
the restriction on non-commercial uage must be dropped.

The second restriction, TeX-related, is problematic, too:  First of all,
it is quite hard to define.  Furthermore, I personally don't see why it
shouldn't be used in other Free Software, e.g. in competitors like lout
or OpenOffice.

> What do you think about using the LPPL?

I would also suggest that, either the current version (1.3a) or "version
1.3a or later".

Many thanks in advance,
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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