[tex-live] pscyr fails the license test

Sebastian Rahtz sebastian.rahtz at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Thu Oct 20 00:31:21 CEST 2005

Tigran Aivazian wrote:

> So, it seems to allow modifications (presumably this was not true 2.5
> years ago when you wrote the above). So, shouldn't pscyr be allowed
> back into TeX Live now?

yes, I agree, it should.

> More generally (and more importantly), imho, all these "license
> cleaning" things I see happening, should NOT be done for several reasons:
> a) like with the above example, one day the license may seem
> unfriendly to you but in the next day [or year] the author may come
> back to his senses and realize that everyone should have every right
> to do ANYTHING he likes with his work as long as no freedoms are taken
> away (and if they are taken away then the original author should be
> compensated as much as he demands)

the TL is a snapshot of the world in a certain state. who can predict
the future?

> b) if people always respected "licenses" and obeyed the so-called
> "copyright laws" then no good things/products would have ever been
> created (but this is just my personal opinion --- some may be
> hypocritical enough to disagree and claim that they always obey the
> laws :)
you propose that we simply ignore the law? or we choose which laws we
feel like obeying? or that we obey a law
only when it suits us?

"TeX Live"  (ie me, at the time) made the decision some years back to
follow the Debian Free Software Guidelines. The community
at that time went along with this decision by continuing to use and
distribute the collection; at any time, the community can say
that it does not like the principle, and either make TL change or start
a new project. My personal view is that the decision to use
the DSFG was good; now my opinion matters little, because I am
effectively retired from TL. Unfortunately, my successor, Karl,
is equally keen on the DSFG :-}   So if people want to go a state where
TL falls into that class of stuff generally known as "freeware"
(permission to distribute, all other rights vague or negotiable), they
had better start lobbying..... or be prepared to start a new

Sebastian Rahtz      
Information Manager, Oxford University Computing Services
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

OSS Watch: JISC Open Source Advisory Service

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