[tex-live] license question

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Sat Sep 13 14:57:58 CEST 2008

Just a side note,

Stephan Hennig <mailing_list at arcor.de> wrote:

>> 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, ...

It's useful of course, but the central criticism about this seems to be
that the license itself is unclear about that. In particular (quoting
from http://people.debian.org/~evan/ccsummary.html which is linked from
the wikipedia URL above as a citation), "It's not specified that a
licensee who has been asked to remove references to the licensor has the
requirements of attribution waived." In other words, there may be
conflicting requirements making the work undistributable. 

I admit that this is nitpicking, but that's what laywers usually do when
they want to win a case against you...

To me, the more important issue seems to be the DRM stuff. Reading this
as it is written, you may not transfer it via SSL, or send it in an
encrypted mail, or just have it on a shared disk protected from the
internet by the usual means. 

> [*] As an example, consider a poem in German dialect free language
> solely consisting of words /not/ included in our list.
> <dangerousbend>
> Would the poem from [*] be derived work of the word list?
> </dangerousbend>

In my opinion, if we regard it as a derived work, we must at the same
time allow this fair use. It's like parody, and art based on something
is fair use AFAIK.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Debian Developer (TeXLive)
ADFC Miltenberg
B90/Grüne KV Miltenberg

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