[tex-live] license question

Jonathan Kew jonathan at jfkew.plus.com
Wed Sep 10 09:47:45 CEST 2008

On 10 Sep 2008, at 7:33 AM, David Kastrup wrote:

> Stephan Hennig <mailing_list at arcor.de> writes:
>> 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.
> [...]
>> 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.
> It doesn't matter to you.  You have all the relevant permissions.
>> For users of our work it's the same situation as if there were no
>> sources.  Anything wrong with that?
> Yes.  Since the GPL mandates distributing the sources (the "preferred
> form of the work for making modifications to it"), nobody can meet the
> conditions.  As a result, the patterns are not redistributable  
> legally.

I don't follow this. In the case of Stephan's patterns, the "preferred  
form for making modifications" would surely be the list of hyphenated  
words, which he is proposing to distribute as well. The fact that he  
made use of another (non-free) list of words -- I notice that it  
didn't even have hyphen positions -- while creating his hyphenated  
list is irrelevant; the patterns will come with perfectly acceptable  


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