[tex-live] Licences for non-software documents

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Tue Jan 9 00:01:22 CET 2007

Hi Peter,

Sorry for overlap with Frank's reply, I wrote it before I saw it ...

    whether the TeXlive assemblers thinks it should be included is another 

I am pretty "inclusive" about such decisions :).  I'm sure I would
include it.

    but I don't want it to be excluded because of a licence problem.

The main thing is that the source is needed.  Is that a problem for you?
It doesn't matter how "pretty" it is.  I often recommend to people to
put their source files in a .zip bundle, which I then include that way
in TL.

    From the "free" licences I have looked at the Open Publication
    License with options A and B fits my wishes (OPL is at

OPL is free if you don't exercise the options in section VI (says
http://gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#RealOPL), so it would be ok in
that case.  But I don't recommend it, simply because there is nothing
else on CTAN or TL which uses that license.  (Aside: I've suggested it
be removed from the license list dropdown on CTAN, since that highlights
it unnecessarily.)

Given source availability, which for a document should not pose any
particular problem, there is no problem with using the GPL, LPPL, or any
other mostly-used-for-software license.  

The most widely used pure documentation license I know of is the GFDL(*)
(used by wikipedia et al., http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), but I
don't see a reason to go that route here.  (You'd have to include the
license itself in the document.)

Happy to discuss further if you want.


(*) To anyone who might be tempted to reply with a tirade about the
GFDL: yes, I know very well that the GFDL with invariant sections is
considered nonfree by Debian, etc.  Let's not go there, pleeeeease.

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