[tex-live] License questions: dvi2tty and vita

Alexander Cherepanov cherepan at mccme.ru
Fri Oct 2 01:01:37 CEST 2009

Hi all!

A couple of more serious license questions.

--- dvi2tty ----------------------------------------------------------


  The program is basicly an improved C version of the pascal
  program written by Svante Lindahl (see README.ORG).


  dvi2tty is licensed under the GPL version 2. It has had a history of many
  authors, I am just one of the latest maintainers.

>From dvi2tty.c:

   * dvitty - get an ascii representation of a dvi-file, suitable for ttys
   * This program, and any documentation for it, is copyrighted by Svante
   * Lindahl. It may be copied for non-commercial use only, provided that
   * any and all copyright notices are preserved.
   * UUCP: {seismo,mcvax,cernvax,diku,ukc,unido}!enea!ttds!zap
   * ARPA: enea!ttds!zap at seismo.CSS.GOV
   *  or   Svante_Lindahl_NADA%QZCOM.MAILNET at MIT-MULTICS.ARPA
   * EAN:  zap at cs.kth.sunet

   * dvi2tty
   * Copyright (C) 2003 Marcel J.E. Mol <marcel at mesa.nl>
   * This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
   * modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
   * as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
   * of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
   * This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
   * but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
   * GNU General Public License for more details.
   * You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
   * along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
   * Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.

>From the Catalogue (dvi2tty.xml):

  <license type='gpl' checked='2009-06-15' file='dvi2tty.c'
           version='3.5.1' username='robin'
           note='the nocommercial claim is supposedly trumped by the
                 later gpl one'/>

Are there any reasons for such a note, some more background? Mentioned
terms (quoted above) are from different authors so it doesn't look
like a confusion on the part of a (single) copyright holder but more
like a confusion of a later author about previous terms. Looks more
like 'undistributable' to me.

---- vita ------------------------------------------------------------

>From the Catalogue (vita.xml):

  <license type='other-free' note='just..."do not distribute modified
           checked='2009-01-01' file='vita.cls'
           version='1996-10-09' username='robin'/>

>From vita.cls:

  %% (C) Copyright 1995, Andrej Brodnik, ABrodnik at UWaterloo.CA. All
  %% rights reserved.
  %% This is a generated file. Permission is granted to to customize the
  %% declarations in this file to serve the needs of your installation.
  %% However, no permission is granted to distribute a modified version of
  %% this file under its original name.

First, "This is a generated file" but it contains enough comments to
not be classified as "nosource", right? Second, there is no explicit 
permission to distribute a modified version. It's somewhat like 
knuthian terms but calorie.sty with very similar terms is classified 
as other-nonfree (see below).

---- calorie ---------------------------------------------------------

(Not in texlive, for comparison.)

>From calorie.sty:

  %  Copyright (c) 1994 by Shuji Aonuma.
  %  Reports or requests to aonuma at kodama.issp.u-tokyo.ac.jp
  %  Unchanged copies of this file may be freely distributed.
  %  You may modify a renamed copy of this file.

>From the Catalogue (calorie.xml):

  <license type='other-nonfree' checked='2009-04-26' file='calorie.sty'
           version='1.3' username='robin'
           note='distribute modified version only after name change'/>


Alexander Cherepanov

More information about the tex-live mailing list