[tex-live] License auditing: Consequences

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Mon Sep 4 16:10:14 CEST 2006


as outlined in my previous e-mail, I've found some files with non-free
license statements, or none at all (and am probably going to find
more).  I am sure that I will not be able to do all the work of
contacting authors (of sometimes age-old packages) and talking to them
about proper licensing.  Therefore I'm considering sending postings to
comp.text.tex (and maybe also language-specific TeX groups), asking for

In order to be able to express properly the urgency and consequences of
non-relicensing, I would like to get some information about how TeXLive
used to handle, or is going to handle such cases.  Debian is in the
fortunate position to posess a non-free archive, which - although not
part of Debian proper - serves users well.  Therefore we may be able to
sort things into the non-free category more lightheartedly than

How would you act on files

- without any license statement, except the implicit grant to distribute
  (by uploading to CTAN)

- with some sort of public domain statement, not saying clearly what
  this means (problematic since "public domain" doesn't exist in may

- saying that they are licensed under license $FOO (mostly LPPL), but at
  the same time "explaining" what that means in words that never really
  matched the proper meaning of $FOO, or only old versions

Do TeXLive people make a difference in license requirements between TeX
input files and examples or documentation?  Would a package with a "this
file is under license $foo" header in the style file, but no license
information at all for documentation qualify for inclusion in TeXLive?

Thanks in advance,
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

More information about the tex-live mailing list