[tex-live] Unclear License of AMSLaTeX

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Thu Apr 27 19:32:54 CEST 2006

Dear AMSLaTeX team,

I'm a little confused with regard to the license of amslatex.  On CTAN
and in the TeX Catalogue, the license information says that it is
licensed under the LPPL (LaTeX Project Public License).  However,
neither on amslatex' homepage, http://www.ams.org/tex/amslatex.html, nor
in the files on CTAN is a hint that this is actually true.

On the contrary, one of the files in the amsrefs subdirectory,
pcatcode.dtx, says that it's licensed under the Artistic license (which
is pretty unspecific, there are many versions around), and most other
files contain a statement like this:

%%%     copyright       = "Copyright 1995 American Mathematical Society,
%%%                        all rights reserved.  Copying of this file is
%%%                        authorized only if either:
%%%                        (1) you make absolutely no changes to your copy,
%%%                        including name; OR
%%%                        (2) if you do make changes, you first rename it
%%%                        to some other name.",

This is clearly not what the LPPL grants and requires, not even older

- it does not permit to distribute changed versions, even when renamed, 

- the current LPPL allows to change the internal identification as an
  alternative to renaming the file, and

- this text doesn't even allow to copy amsclass.dtx to amsclass.dtx.bak

I am sure this is not what was originally intended.  Therefore I'd like
to kindly request that you clarify the license situation, communicate
this to distributors, and include the information in the next release.
In my opinion, the LPPL is indeed a good choice for a LaTeX extension,
and I'd be glad to see amslatex unambiguously LPPL'ed.

Anyway, many thanks for providing and maintaining this great LaTeX

Kind regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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