[tex-live] EC license

Alexander Cherepanov cherepan at mccme.ru
Fri Aug 28 23:07:17 CEST 2009

Hi Reinhard!
On Wed, 26 Aug 2009 23:57:18 +0200, Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

>  >  * The names of the modified fonts must not start with the two
>  >    letters `ec' or `tc'.
> This is fine.  It's what everybody expect.  

Sure, maintaning sane namespace is vital. But license is a wrong tool 
for that. First, it doesn't work. Look, FSF says that the renaming 
requirement is acceptable for latex only because it's easy to overcome
(see http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/#LPPL-1.2 ). And, of course, 
a license of EC fonts doesn't have any say in naming of independently 
created fonts.

Second, many renaming clauses are overreaching. LPPL permits to take 
excerpts without restriction and that is great. The EC license doesn't. 
Symbols for the intersection of T1 and T2* encodings in LH fonts are 
taken from EC fonts. Restriction for names in this case doesn't look 
useful (LH fonts can not be used as a replacement for EC fonts), it just 
complicates the license situation.

> And what you report is
> obviously a Debian problem.  Don't worry.

In fact, I like Debian approach. It's seems to be logical, consistent 
and less self-contradictory than FSF's. I'm not completely sure how 
practical it is though;-)

> TeX can't be part of Debian
> anyway because Knuth clearly said that a modified TeX shall not be
> called TeX.  This definitely violates Debian policy.

> Debian guys do not have the courage to ask Knuth to change the license
> of TeX.  They know that such a request is useless.  Instead, they
> bother package authors with their quite idiosyncratic viewpoint of
> freedom.

I agree with that to some extent. IMHO license audit should start from 
base packages (tex, mf, cm, ams stuff, ec, etc.), not from looking for 
license problems in ordinary latex packages. Both are important but 
former is missing right now.

> Why shouldn't TeX Live provide fonts or macro packages which have the
> same license and restrictions as Knuth's TeX itself? 

Yep, how much sense is in arguing about renaming clause in LPPL when 
hyphen.tex has it anyway?..

Alexander Cherepanov

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