[tex-live] license question

Stephan Hennig mailing_list at arcor.de
Tue Sep 9 19:43:15 CEST 2008

[Sorry for the late reply.  I've been occupied with reviving a broken

Frank Küster schrieb:
> Stephan Hennig <mailing_list at arcor.de> wrote:
>> There's no problem with (i), however for (ii) we're unsure what exact
>> licence to chose.
>> ...
>> [Creative Commons]
> I don't know about the CTAN or TeX Live opinion on that (if there's
> one), and I don't even know what debian-legal thinks about it. But you
> can find some information on criticism, also by Debian, of the CC
> licenses on
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_licenses#Criticism

I don't follow Debian's criticism, since I think, the right to require
attribution removal is both, useful and non-invasive.  But, ...

>  I think GPL is more aiming towards software,
> It was developped originally for software, but I don't see a reason at
> all not to use it for documentation. And it's being used for that, too.
>> Note, a word list might be the basis for other applications
>> than word hyphenation, e.g, spell checking.
> In other words, it would again become part of a programmatical work
> ("software" in your terminology).

This is a striking argument!  I only wanted to point out that word lists
(and we didn't find free, large and well maintained ones) can be the
base for non TeX or even non computer based work[*].  So it might be
useful to distribute it as standalone work and GPL doesn't necessarily
come to mind immediately, then.  But as you pointed out that was
stopping half the way of a though.  For computer based applications,
such as a spell checker GPL would be best choice, of course.  So we
might consider dual-licensing.  Thanks!

Best regards,
Stephan Hennig

[*] As an example, consider a poem in German dialect free language
solely consisting of words /not/ included in our list.

Would the poem from [*] be derived work of the word list?

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