[tex-live] license question

Stephan Hennig mailing_list at arcor.de
Tue Sep 9 19:47:09 CEST 2008

Karl Berry schrieb:
>     (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.

Actually, our list of hyphenated words is partly based on another larger
list of unhyphenated German words (plus lots of garbage) sorted by word
frequency.   That list is /non-free/.  We have explicit permission to
derive substantially different work and do anything we want with that.
That is, we're not allowed to, say, remove only some words from the
original list and distribute the remaining word list, but there are no
really strict rules to obey.  Our work involves:

* selecting words from the original list,
* spell checking,
* manual or automatic word hyphenation,
* manual hyphenation checking,
* transformation into our database format,
* sorting alphabetically (just for human readability).

So I think we're on the save side.  But in fact, there is source for our
work that cannot be distributed.  What does that mean for GPL?  I'd
think it doesn't matter as long as we're acting in compliance with our
permissions.  For users of our work it's the same situation as if there
were no sources.  Anything wrong with that?

> 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.

Well, as I wrote in my reply to Frank, in non-computer based world I
assume CC is a little bit easier to handle/understand than GPL.

Best regards,
Stephan Hennig

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