[tex-live] Unclear License of AMSLaTeX

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Fri Apr 28 23:15:06 CEST 2006

    Martin Schröder was under the impression that the habit of using tex.web
    plus changes files was not just a habit, but actually a license
    requirement.  After reading DEK's statement quoted in may last mail, he
    said he'd changed his mind.

I see.

Martin et al., are we allowed to discuss this or have you already made a
firm decision?  May I ask what your plans are?  Do you still intend to
use Web2c and Kpathsea?

The licensing is not my main concern.  My concern is the build
infrastructure.  If pdftex is longer based on the change files, then
there will be two sets of sources to maintain -- those based on the
original tex.web, and those based on pdftex.web (or whatever).  This
seems potentially worse than the current situation, unsatisfactory as I
know it is ...

Now, as far as the licensing goes, the only way to know for sure is to
ask DEK.  (This question seems like one that could more usefully be
asked.)  The text at the beginning of tex.web explicitly states that
"changing this file is not allowed".  I don't exactly see that a
statement he has made elsewhere should take precedence over that.  Sure,
DEK has always said that the ideas, algorithms, are in the public domain
and the code can be used as such.  I don't think he's ever said that,
the file tex.web is in the public domain in the literal legal sense.
Indeed, that would contradict his expressed wishes about the naming.

Barbara, do you have any thoughts on this?


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