[tex-live] status of latex/contrib/calender

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Mon Jan 9 00:00:10 CET 2012

Andreas Würl <andreas at wuerl.net> wrote:

> Thank you all for the clarification.
> From my point of view, the first paragraph of the statement in
> question only deals with the case that the software is going to be
> modified before is distribution, which is not the case here.
> The second paragraph of the statement addresses distribution of the
> unmodified files and explicitly allows to take money for the
> distribution if it is only a nominal charge for copying etc.
> Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think in this case a
> distribution of the calendar files is legal and covered by the
> original license. 

the issue is that one man's "nominal charge" is another man's "gross

when we (uk tug; i was on the committee at the time) released the first
tex live disc, we charged a "nominal" sum for it.  our aim was to recoup
some of the start-up costs (which included a cd-writer, not a standard
item in those days, and which cost an enormous amount).

in fact, the release was fantastically successful, and we made an
embarrassing profit.

we weren't so careful in those days about licences (we didn't even have
the ctan catalogue), but we did avoid "nosell" packages.  no-one sued,
but the committee nevertheless conducted a "vigorous[*] argument" about

a small miscalculation, you see, can convert a supposed "small charge"
to a "large profit".  the *only* safe approach is to treat "nosell,
except for a small charge for copying" as "nosell".

(quite _how_ the package got into tex live in the first place isn't clear
to me; it's not recorded in the catalogue transaction logs.  fwiw, i
corrected the catalogue "licence" entry to say "nosell" on 2005-07-24

i noted removal from miktex 2008-01-28, and from tex live 2008-08-17, in
the catalogue.)

[*] == "full and frank" -- i.e., vigorous criticism of those who had
voted for the charge at an earlier meeting.  people such as me...

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