[tex-live] license question

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sat Sep 6 02:45:21 CEST 2008

    (ii) the underlying list of hyphenated words and scripts to
         generate patterns under a copyleft flavoured license.

I very strongly suggest using the GPL(v2 or later).
There is no problem with using the GPL for anything for which "source"
can be identified -- clearly not an issue here.  (More difficult for,
say, a sculpture. :)  Many TeX packages are already released under the GPL.

By contrast, nothing else significant on CTAN or in TeX uses any of the
CC licenses, that I'm aware of.  Certainly it is extremely rare, at
most.  Believe me, this is ground you do not want to break ... and there
is nothing to be gained from it, that I can see.

    I've been surprised that CTAN doesn't provide to chose that among
    the licences labelled "free".

As I understand it (and hope to be the case), the purpose of that
dropdown is to show licenses that are actually commonly used in the TeX
world, and that are recommended in the TeX world.  CC-(BY-)SA fails both

(There are many licenses in the tree that are not in that dropdown.)

    Is CC-(BY-)SA considered free by the CTAN and TeX Live teams?  

Yes, since the FSF does so, but I urge you (and everyone) not to use it
for software or documentation.  (Other CC licenses are nonfree.)

As far as I know, CC itself recommends using the GPL for software, not


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