[tex-live] ConTeXt documentation in "commercial" products

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Wed Jan 18 11:32:31 CET 2006

Hello Hans, hello texlive list,

please take my apologies for bringing this up, but it seems I need to.
According to mreadme.pdf, the documentation is under a different license
than the code, with a "currently" attached to that statement.
Unfortunately, the license chosen for the documentation does not allow
inclusion in TeXLive (and Debian, hence the other Cc).

The problem is the prohibition to use it for commercial purposes.  This
is explained later as

| The non--commercial part is mostly a safeguard. We don't mind if user
| groups distribute printed copies, publish (parts of) manuals and/or if
| authors use example code in manuals and books about ConTEXt.

However, if a bookshop like Lehmann's in Germany creates TeXLive (or
Debian) CD-ROMs and sells them, this is commercial use - even if the
price is hardly more than the production costs, and even if DANTE, the
german user group, gets a bunch of them for free.  After all, the
purpose is to bring customers into the bookshop in the hope they also
buy something else.

On the other hand, I understand that Pragma wants to prevent anyone from
printing and selling a book or booklet with the documentation.  But I
assume that it would be possible to do this without such restrictions.

What do you think?

As for a practical solution, maybe simply using the GPL for the
documentation would maybe already do the trick, since the publisher
would have to provide the source code on the same medium, i.e. written.
I assume it's even possible to declare that the rights granted by the
GPL do not apply to print, or more specifically, to state that the
copyright holder grants and restricts the same rights for any digital
representation (like a PDF file) that the GPL gives for "object code",
but not for any printed representation which isn't covered by the GPL,

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

More information about the tex-live mailing list