[tex-live] license violation in tetex-texmf-3.0 fixed

Thomas Esser te at dbs.uni-hannover.de
Sat May 27 09:37:59 CEST 2006

Dear Petr,

first, let me explain a little more about my "license violation". Not
everyone here knows the background. You license is somewhat which can
be summarized as "GPL with an appendix". The appendix in itself imposes
severe restriction on the rights given by the GPL.

Richard Stallman has told me that your license is self contradicting
and that using the GPL in such a way is not valid. I think that he will
contact you directly to resolve this with you.

You blame me for bad communication. Good, let me explain my point of view:

15 months after I made that teTeX-3.0 release, Zdenek Wagner has contacted
me with

    we got complains that csplain does not work in teTeX. After
    examination the CSTeX maintainer, Petr Olsak, found that csplain.ini
    was modified. It is not only violation of copyright, because it
    is not alowed to distribute modified files with unchanged names,
    but it moreover causes that csplain does not work correctly

I have replied that I am no longer maintaining teTeX and Zdenek Wagner
replied that

    I think that it is important to have correct version of csplain.ini
    in your last development tree so that if someone decides to continue
    your work, gets the correct file.

And I have replied that this has happened over a year ago (the day that
you had send an update to me; this was after the teTeX-3.0 release).

Then, you, Petr have send mails, which I consider very impolite:
  - you blame me for ignoring your mail from mar 2005 (in fact, I had
    updated my tree the same day)
  - you claim to focus on the license violation. After I fixed just this
    (and not the bug which is independed of the license violation),
    you blame me for all kind of "bad communication". To remember,
    this is what you have said:

      It is irrelevant what cause the trouble. There is only one important
      object: the archive tetex-texmf-3.0.tar.gz includes the violation
      of copyright of csplain and this archive is still distributed and
      it is a source of TeX software for hundreds Linux distributions
      (for example).
      Please, tell me, who is responsible for distribution of the archive
      tetex-texmf-3.0.tar.gz in Internet now? I'll ask him to correct
      the copyright violation problem in this file.

You did not even accept my excuse about the copyright violation at all,
even though it had happened accidently and without any bad intent:

      To say: "I am sorry about it" is not full sufficient. It would be
      more ideal to solve the problem.

Given all this, I still feel that my reaction was adequate. Now, live
with the fact that the bug remains in the last version of teTeX. Maybe,
I would habe done something else if you had asked in a more polite way.

After all, it is free software. You, or anybody else, might pick it up
and publish a new release.  I don't even impose restrictions on the name

All the best,


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