Re: DFSG - the patch clause is harmful (was Re: Draft new DFSG)
On Fri, Nov 27, 1998 at 03:42:15PM +0100, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > Hi *,
> > while I agree on the spirit of what Ian said and I think a
> > license that uses the patch clause isn't a very good one, I still
> > don't think we should rule it out. Some big pieces of free software
> > depend on it. TeX was here long time before Debian or even Linux and
> > IS free software after all. The problem is that you can have different
> > motivations to exploit the patch clause (I think the reasons of
> > prof. Knuth are pretty good ones) and the difficulty is discerning
> > the "bad" guys from the "good" ones.
> Are you really sure? As far as I know, one _is_ allowed to
> distribute a modified TeX (even binaries, and sell them), as long
> as one doesn't call it TeX.
> So, as far as I know, TeX doesn't make _any_ use of the patch clause.
You can distribute tex WEB sources only as original source + WEB
changefiles. (See my other post.) BTW, you can distribute TeX and
call it TeX if it passes the trip.tex test. (Patches for strange
archs are available as WEB changefiles and the result is still TeX
because it passes the trip.tex test.)
> > You can do that. Distribution and archives format is independent from
> > source integrity.
> Not if you make full use of the patch clause. Some authors distribute
> MD5 sums of the original archive, and demand that however the source
> is distributed, the MD5 sum must match.
Mmmm. I don't like that. Any author that does that is pulling the
clause to its limits. Maybe we can add that checksums can be used
to prove integrity but only on single files and not on the whole
Federico Di Gregorio | / mailto:email@example.com
Debian developer! | / -1 http://pcamb6.irfmn.mnegri.it/~fog
*-=$< ;-P TeX Winzard? |/ http://www.debian.org