[tex-live] License auditing: Consequences

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Mon Sep 4 22:38:53 CEST 2006

What a tremendous amount of work.  I only wish the same amount of work
could go into improving the distribution.

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

Not intended to be included in TL.

    - with some sort of public domain statement, not saying clearly what
      this means 

I certainly allow public domain (as does the FSF, as far as I've ever
heard).  For one thing, many fundamental parts of the TeX system are
labeled "public domain", going back to dvitype and most notably
including metapost, not to mention the tex live documentation.  It would
be nonsensical to exclude them from TL.  

      (problematic since "public domain" doesn't exist in may jurisdictions) 

I can't do anything about that.  Virtually any license will be
interpreted differently in different jurisdictions, seems to me.

Personally, it seems to me that public domain is the least restricted
license possible!

    - saying that they are licensed under license $FOO (mostly LPPL), 

If they obviously intend the thing to be free per FSF definition, then I
don't quibble over the exact wording, although clarity would clearly be

    Do TeXLive people make a difference in license requirements between
    TeX input files and examples or documentation?  

Not intentionally.

    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?

The source should be available.  As Robin said, for most latex packages
(and hence most of tl), the source is the dtx file, so that's fine.

When the source is not available, either I exclude just the
documentation (context being the main example here) or the entire
package (some small latex packages I have noticed).


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