[tex-live] TeX Live 2011 License Audit - Non Free Items [01/02]

Tom Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Wed Dec 14 21:54:54 CET 2011

(This is the first email in a series of two, the first covers non-free
items, the second covers mislabeled components.)

I've been spending a lot of time lately working with Red Hat Legal and
Jindrich Novy to try to finish a reasonable audit on the components
included in TeX Live 2011, with the goal of identifying what needs to be
resolved for Fedora to be able to include it as a packageset.

As part of this process, Fedora is easing up on its previous stance of
dealing with code which is indicated by the original copyright holder as
being in the Public Domain. I'll be announcing that change separately to
Fedora, but in the context of TL2011, it means that we're no longer
concerned about PD components within TL.

Onward to the meat!

In reviewing TL2011, we identified 19 non-free components (which is far
less than previous audits, although, to be fair, previous audits assumed
PD code was non-free unless the nationality of the copyright holder
could be confirmed to be such that the PD declaration was known to be
valid, which inflated the count significantly).

The hope is that these items can either be relicensed under a Free
License or removed from TL.

Here are the 19 non-free items, along with details:

* authoraftertitle
Reason: The only indication of license is "License: Absolutely Free :)",
which, while cute, is not a license. This code is circa 2006 and the
author appears to be "Matthias Bilger", so there is a possibility that
the author would be willing to put a real license on their code to
resolve this issue. No attempt at contacting Matthias Bilger has yet
been made.
Importance: latex extra - unimportant, probably safe to simply remove

* cmdtrack
Reason: The only licensing info says:

%%%     copyright       = "Copyright 1999 Michael John Downes.
%%%                        This program may be used, distributed, or
%%%                        even sold, without restrictions.",

Unfortunately, it does not grant permission to modify.
Importance: latex extra - unimportant, probably safe to simply remove

* doc-pictex
Reason: Could not find licensing, so forced to assume it is non-free.
Importance: Jindrich says there are no runtime files in the archive, so
it is safe to simply remove.

* ec
Reason: Red Hat Legal says the license is non-free, primarily because of
the requirement that modifications must always be accompanied by
unmodified originals.
Importance: Jindrich says these are "sort of important fonts" in

* euro-ce
Reason: Could not find a license (just a warranty disclaimer). Emailed
upstream (H.W.deWijn at phys.uu.nl), but have not yet received a response.
Forced to assume it is non-free in the absence of a license.
Importance: Jindrich says these are important recommended fonts.

* floatflt
Reason: License is non-free due to explicit clause forbidding modification:

%  You may use the `floatflt' package freely, but at your own
%  risk.  The authors of floatflt.dtx and floatflt.ins (the
%  complete `floatflt' package distribution) can not be held
%  responsible for any consequence of your using any of these
%  files, or files created from these, including hardware,
%  software, and data damage.  You may not make any changes to
%  the files floatflt.dtx or floatflt.ins.  You are allowed to make
%  changes to the `\documentclass' and/or `\usepackage' commands
%  of the file `floatexm.tex'.  You may incorporate
%  the code from these files in other files under different
%  names, provided the original authors are given full credit for
%  their work and that you yourself take the complaints from the
%  user(s) of your file(s).  You may freely distribute the
%  files floatflt.dtx and floatflt.ins, provided that you
%  always distribute `floatflt.dtx' and `floatflt.ins' together
%  at the same time.

Importance: Jindrich says this is "not so important", in latex-extra.

* fltpage
Reason: License is poorly written and incomplete:

 % The usual disclaimers apply:  If it doesn't work right that's your
 % The usual GNU-style conditions apply: If you change it, you take
 % the blame; if you pass it on, pass on all present conditions;

There is no clearly stated permission to copy, modify, or distribute.
Red Hat Legal agrees, this is non-free.
Importance: Jindrich says this is safe to delete, in latex-extra.

* fnpara
Reason: Could not find a license, forced to assume it is non-free.
Importance: Jindrich says this is safe to delete, in latex-extra.

* free-math-font-survey
Reason: Could not find a license. Compounded by the fact that it seems
to include embedded examples of non-free fonts. Forced to assume it is
Importance: English documentation, safe to simply delete.

* gentle
Reason: License explicitly forbids modification, non-free:

%% You should feel free to photocopy and/or distribute this manual.
%% My only request is that it remain in one piece and not be chopped
%% up.  The only machine dependent section (#1.2) may need to be
%% rewritten for your local site, of course.

Importance: English documentation, safe to simply delete.

* gillcm
Reason: Could not find a license. Forced to assume it is non-free.
Importance: Jindrich says this is extra, non-essential fonts, safe to

* kalender
Reason: No clear license. Closest thing is this:

Dieser Style darf uebernommen oder geandert werden, aber nur mit Nennung
des Orginalautors

which means:

This style may be applied or changed, but only while mentioning the
original author.

Unfortunately, that is not sufficient to meet the criteria for a free
license, due to a lack of copying or redistribution permission.
Importance: Unsure. Part of German Language collection.

* latex-tipps-und-tricks
Reason: Could not find a license. Debian has had a bug on this one for a
LONG time now (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=387624
opened in 2006). This component originated from a published book, it is
apparently the examples from the book. According to the Debian bug,
someone with a copy of the book checked for a licensing permission but
could not find one. Only indication of license is "License: Debian Free
Software Guidelines", which is not a license. They attempted to contact
the book author, but were not successful.
Importance: German documentation.

* midnight
Reason: This is the license:

%	You can use these macros to typeset documents. You may
%	distribute this file freely, provided that you also distribute
%	the accompanying documentation.
%	    You may make changes to this file, or extract portions
%	of it for inclusion in other files, provided that
%	    (1) you change the name of the file;
%	    (2) you give proper credit and include copyright
%		information where applicable;
%	    (3) explain how an unchanged version can be obtained; and
%	    (4) document the usage of your macros/changes (if usage
%		of your macros is not worth documenting, they must not
%		be worth using).
%	You are not allowed to use the name ``Midnight Macros'' for
%	any changed files.
%	    The above rules for making changes do not apply where it
%	is explicitly noted in this file that something can be changed
%	to conform to your local installation.

It is non-free, because it forces you to distribute only with the
accompanying documentation.
Importance: Low, part of the generic extra collection, should be safe to

* ogham
Reason: Could not find a license. Forced to assume it is non-free.
Importance: Very low, part of the extra fonts collection, adds support
for an extremely archaic and dead language, should be safe to delete.

* russ
Reason: Could not find a license. Forced to assume it is non-free.
Importance: Cyrillic language support, not sure how important it is.

* seetexk
Reason: This is the license:

 * Copyright (c) 1987, 1989 University of Maryland
 * Department of Computer Science.  All rights reserved.
 * Permission to copy for any purpose is hereby granted
 * so long as this copyright notice remains intact.

No permission to modify. Non-free.
Importance: Jindrich said these are extra, unimportant binaries. Should
be safe to delete.

* setspace
Reason: Could not find a license. Forced to assume it is non-free.
Importance: Jindrich says this is part of the "recommended latex
collection", and is rather important.

* texdraw
Reason: This is the license:

% The TeXdraw routines in this file are provided free of charge without
% warranty of any kind.  Note that the TeXdraw routines are copyrighted.
% They may be distributed freely provided that the recipients also
% acquire the right to distribute them freely.  The notices to this
% effect must be preserved when the files are distributed.

No permission to modify, non-free.

Importance: Jindrich said that this is needed for picture manipulating
in the default collection, is important.


I also have a ton of corrections to the "Freely Distributable without
Restriction" or "Other*" items, but I will send a separate email for
those corrections.

Thanks in advance,


Fedora Project

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