[tex-live] Licences for non-software documents
herries.press at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 9 06:35:15 CET 2007
I have in my mind a distinction between software and document. It
appears that most see no distinction and I have a problem with that. That
probably means that others might feel that they have a problem with me. Oh,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Berry" <karl at freefriends.org>
To: <herries.press at earthlink.net>
Cc: <tex-live at tug.org>
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 3:01 PM
Subject: Re: [tex-live] Licences for non-software documents
> 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.
Why is the source needed? For the sake or argument, suppose I scanned
pages from out-of-copyright documents and assembled them into a new document
together with some scanned hand-written pages. What is the source? Suppose I
just wrote an email message using plain ASCII, what is the source?
> 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.)
I realise that most of the stuff on CTAN is `compilable' latex code and
it can be possible to distinguish between the pre- and post-compliled works,
hence the LPPL is the best you can get for a license for that, but there are
other things that most would not think of as compilable. Is a list of the
contents of TeXlive compilable? Is the LPPL itself under the LPPL (and under
my reading it isn't)? If it isn't, should it be there at all?
I feel that there should be consideration of how to deal with `plain
documents' other than the GFDL (like you, I don't want to get into that
> 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.
Again, why the requirement for the source? In my particular case I'm
supplying a PDF file. There is software that lets you pick such a file
apart. Does it matter how the file was created? What if I had used a WYSIWYG
commercial product whose native form was PDF to generate it? What is the
source? Why is the result unacceptable?
> 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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