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Re: User's thoughts about LPPL

On Thu, 2002-07-18 at 03:28, David Carlisle wrote:
> > Additionally, there is the question
> > of defining "non-functional" data; some kinds of data, such as fonts,
> > have functional impact
> for a system like latex the fonts (or at least their metrics) have as
> much impact as the rest of the system. Modifying the font metrics is
> even more likely to change the final document layout than changing the
> latex macros (most of which are not used in any given document run).

Well, yes.  OTOH, substituting pictures can also change layout, and
pictures are clearly non-functional data.

You may be right; fonts may be too "functional" to waive the DFSG for
them.  But that's a bridge we'll have to come to at some point, and it
affects far more things than just TeX.

> >  if the time comes to act, CM fonts can be moved to non-free then.
> In that case probably it's best if we just all come back then.
> It will be a lot of work finalising the details of a rewrite of LPPL
> and if the only benefit of that is that you declare LaTeX suitable for
> the free part of Debian, that effort will be completely wasted if TeX
> and the fonts are not in the free part.

I hope not.  Hopefully, the license you craft with our input will be a
stronger license, and will more clearly reflect your priorities.  I
think there have been several cases where we've identified
characteristics of your license that do not reflect your stated goals.

> I'd like to see LaTeX classed as Free by Debian (because it is Free)
> but distributing LaTeX separately from TeX would be non sensical
> and lead to massive user confusion. So if TeX and the CM fonts were in
> non-free I'd suggest you distribute latex from there as well, even if
> latex had a licence that you would be happy to classify as free.

Yes.  We cover this problem with a section called "contrib", which
contains DFSG-free software that depends on non-free software.  A lot of
Java software falls into this section, for example.

So if the LPPL ends up being DFSG-free but TeX is not, we won't take
that away from you.

> So I don't think we can do anything about the latex licence until 
> then. (This is a personal response to your comments, Frank may have
> different ideas, especially as he's spent a lot of time redrafting
> LPPL this last month and is (I thought) almost there as regards
> addressing any concerns raised by Debian with the old version.)

I haven't seen his response yet, and am looking forward to it.  I urge
him (and you) to stay engaged if you would, as I think our discussion
has been profitable in many ways.

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