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Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia

> I did not see any statement to this effect in the LPPL draft that was
> posted here:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/debian-legal-200207/msg00007.html
> I would love to hear that I had completely missed it, or that you've
> changed the draft to include such a statement.

My understanding is that no such statement is necessary (but there is
one anyway:-)

(Also it's difficult for latex to talk of command names, even more than
files, latex is used on systems with no command line, so you have to
interpret "command name" as "menu option or icony thing or anything else
that can be reasonably construed as starting the program from a user
action", which propbably isn't legally watertight...)

To take that specific example.

pslatex does not modify any of the latex source or run time files
so is clearly not in breach of the LPPL. It does have a pile of extra
tex macros that redefine chunks of latex, but LPPL explictly does not
forbid redefintions it just says such redefinitions should not be in a
file of the same name as the original.

Then wrapping it all up it has a new shell script which called "pslatex"
which calls standard latex on the user's document while inserting the
redefinitions in a suitably cunning way. This shell script again is not
a modification of any part of latex and doesn't share any name with any
part of latex so clearly is not in breach of LPPL.

This is spelled out more fully in the latex modification guide
modguide.tex which is referenced in the preamble of the LPPL draft you

modguide.tex is in the base latex distribution, or ready formatted here:


the relevant bit of modguide.tex source says

\section{Modification conditions}

It is possible that you need to produce a document processing system
based on standard \LaTeX{} but with functionality that cannot be
implemented by using the approved configuration files and complying
with the restriction on the code that is allowed in them.  In other
words, you may need a system which is sufficiently distinct from
Standard \LaTeX{} that it is not feasible to do this simply by using
the configuration options we provide or by producing new classes and

If you do produce such a system then, for the reasons described
above, you should ensure that your system is clearly distinguished
from Standard \LaTeX{} in every possible way, including the following.

  Give your system a distinguished name, such as \nstex, which clearly
  distinguishes it from \LaTeX{}.

  Ensure that it contains no file with a name the same as that of
  a file in the standard distribution but with different contents.
  (If this is not possible then you must: 
    ensure that files from the non-\LaTeX{} system cannot be
    accidentally accessed whilst using a standard \LaTeX{};
  \item ensure that each file from the non-\LaTeX{} system clearly
    identifies itself as a non-\LaTeX{} file on the terminal and in the
    log file.)

  Ensure that the method used to run your system is clearly
  distinct from that used to run Standard \LaTeX; e.g.~by using a
  command name or menu entry that is clearly not \texttt{latex}
  (or \texttt{LaTeX} etc).

  Ensure that, when a file is being processed by your system, the
  use of non-standard \LaTeX{} is clearly proclaimed to the user by
  whatever means is appropriate.

\item Ensure that what is written at the beginning of the log file
  clearly shows that your system has been used, and that it is 
  not Standard \LaTeX{}.
  See the file \texttt{cfgguide.tex} for how to achieve this.

 Clearly explain to users that bug reports concerning your 
 system should not be sent to the maintainers of Standard

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