Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia
The freedom to create
these "personal versions" of software is the only protection that our
thousands or millions of users worldwide have against software authors
who are unresponsive, missing, or antagonistic. It is our insurance
policy that we will be free to continue to do what we believe is in the
best interest of our users, even when upstream disagrees. If the Latex
developers don't believe this is important enough that they will choose
a license that complies with the Debian Free Software Guidelines, that's
once again their right as copyright holders, but it definitely makes it
incompatible with Debian's stated goals.
Speaking as a LaTeX developer, and as one of the authors of the LPPL I
agree with those aims and would say that LPPL is perfectly compatible
I agree that anyone should be free to modify latex in any way and
distribute that modification. I just don't agree that they should leave
my email address at the top as the place where people should report
bugs, and I don't agree that they should call the software by the same
name, so as to deliberately trick users who believe they are using one
piece of software into using a different piece of software.
As a matter of fact we did read the DFSG while drafting the original
version 1 of the LPPL. I believed then and still believe now that it is
compatible. Nothing in any of the multitude of threads has shown
any real bar on LPPL being DFSG compatible. Some minor wording issues
that Frank has been addressing, but nothing in principle.
What has been clear is that some people at Debian don't like clause 4
and are trying to force licences that do not require that clause.
If Debian want to do that that is their right of course, but it is not
the current published guidelines. If Debian does change its guidelines
and drop clause 4 then clearly LPPL would not meet the new criteria.
Neither would the TeX or Computer Modern licences. If Debian wish to
distribute its core free Debian distribution witout tex (and presumably
without texinfo) again that is their right and there is nothing we in
the LaTeX project can do about that as we don't control the Licence on
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