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Re: Question(s) for clarifications with respect to the LPPL discussion

(Please CC me on answers: I'm not a member of debian-legal.)

On Fri, 19 Jul 2002, Frank Mittelbach wrote:

> Concern 1: requiring a change of filename in case of modification
>            in case of distribution
> =================================================================
> this seems to me the major stumbling point for most people and
> (unfortunately the most important point for us)

I believe the only way to rethink this is this quote, from

  The LaTeX Project Public License


    The reason this requirement is acceptable for LaTeX is that LaTeX has 
    a facility to allow you to map file names, to specify ``use file bar 
    when file foo is requested''. With this facility, the requirement is 
    merely annoying; without the facility, the same requirement would be 
    a serious obstacle, and we would have to conclude it makes the 
    program non-free. 

Without this, even FSF and RMS would have not classified LPPL 1.2 as a
free software license. So Frank, please mention this everywhere you want
to prove LPPL is a Free Software license.

For debian people: please consider this. I believe this voids many of the
intents of the license, as previously mentioned (sysadmins can use this
remapping feature to make \documentclass{article} load some other file
instead of 'article.cls'), but this is also the reason FSF agreed that it 
is a free software license.

> Argument 3.2: Trademarks and certification marks are tools better suited to
>               controlling endorsements of conformance with a standard or set
>               of usage practices.

I agree. I still believe that TeX's copyright is a trademark and a
software license combined. He could not have said: "Don't use the name TeX
if you change this file", if there was not a trade mark on the names TeX,
METAFONT, etc (I don't know the exact situation about Knuth's other
programs distributed with Debian, like Computer Modern fonts).


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