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

Petr Olsak petr at olsak.net
Sun May 28 22:36:17 CEST 2006

On Sat, 27 May 2006, Karl Berry wrote:

>     perhaps csplain should just be dropped from texlive ...
> At present, I see no overriding reason why cstex can't be included in
> tl.  Fundamentally, I don't think Petr's name restriction makes cstex
> nonfree any more than Knuth's name restriction makes hyphen.tex nonfree.

Yes, I mean that if csplain is marked as "nonfree" then plain.tex is
"nonfree" too (independently, what "nonfree" means). If somebody want to
make *TeX package without "nonfree" parts, then he have to remove TeX
itself (it was done for example in teTeX+TL) and plain.tex, hyphen.tex
and CM fonts. In such case he have to remove csplain too, because csplain
depends on plain.tex, hyphen.tex and CM fonts. Another question is why
such package is named "*TeX package".

On the other hand, if somebody remove csplain but does not remove
plain.tex then I'll ask: why? Where is difference between plain.tex
and csplain license?

> Petr, I do think it would be good for you to clarify the intended
> status/license of derived versions, since of course that is a
> fundamental point of free software.

First, I agree with other discussants that my copyright notice in
csplain.tex is confusing because I (sadly) used the pointer to GPL.
I was more inspired by Knuth's license than GPL. It means I feel my
own responsibility to users and I want to have hight control over
functionality of software with the same name as my original software
in my computer.

This responsibility is realised in practice: if csplain does not work
(for example) in some Debian version of Linux distribution then user
does not report the problem to Debian packagers nor teTeX packagers
but to me. I have written many documentation/books about csplain (for
example). Packagers usually do not know all this documentation and
there is a risk that if they do a little change then
documentation is not compatible with such changed software.

Status/license of derived software: you can rename my project name
and you can do with this result anything. You can use arbitrary
license for this derived software and you can totally forget about
author of original. I don't feel any responsibility for
such derived software. I need to be sure that users can recognize
derived software from my original simply by _name_.

> I will try to work with Petr and crew to make sure that TL includes a
> cstex that is (a) compliant and (b) usable.  I feel sure that (a) and
> (b) can be satisfied simultaneously, if we remain of stout heart and
> good cheer :).

At (b): I hope that cstex is usable in TL now and (unlike teTeX) it
is functional in TL. I did not understand exactly what do you mean at (a).

> Karl


Petr Olsak

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