Re: Towards a new LPPL draft
Jeff Licquia writes:
> On Tue, 2002-07-23 at 13:20, Frank Mittelbach wrote:
> > Jeff Licquia writes:
> > > > The LaTeX Project is not collecting a bunch of seperate works and combines
> > > > them into LaTeX. It only provides 3 or 4 core parts of what is known to be
> > > > LaTeX as well as providing a license (LPPL) which helps to keep that thing
> > > > "LaTeX" uniform between different installations.
> > >
> > > I see. I was under the impression that what you distribute included
> > > lots of third-party stuff.
> > >
> > > Debian is really only concerned here with the core license on the core
> > > parts of LaTeX. If others within the LaTeX community don't like what
> > > you've done with the license, then they can add modification
> > > restrictions, and Debian can then decide to distribute them or not, or
> > > negotiate directly with them, or whatever.
> > sorry, but we are not concerned only with the core stuff. even though we don't
> > distribute the rest. The whole set of files put on ctan and identical (on a
> > pristine LaTeX installation) is what makes LaTeX useful, not their quality as
> > such. So either we find a solution which keeps this intact (and we
> > had found something with LPPL, though we are happy to reword it, to iron out
> > mistakes in it that do not fit the intended meaning).
> Well, I am confused, then.
> When I talk about "LaTeX", I am talking about something with a specific
> scope. If, for example, the LPPL required that every file in /usr/bin
> be renamed whenever something changes within LaTeX, that would be quite
> blatantly non-free because of an overwide scope and high burden placed
> on the user.
> There is, I imagine, stuff that is not a part of LaTeX, but that works
> with LaTeX. That stuff may or may not be licensed under a particular
> license. That's immaterial to the question of whether LaTeX is free or
> If you're asking Debian to always ship absolutely everything in CTAN as
> a precondition to gaining modification rights to LaTeX, then that's
> something that Debian can't offer. We don't know how that software is
> licensed, and can't guarantee that it will be free or not.
> > but there is no point in providing a largely useless core (identical) and
> > having all the rest happily return to the state of 1990 where no two site had
> > identical LaTeX packages and thus document exchange turned out to be largely a
> > matter of luck or sending whole latex package trees along with the document.
> > > But before we can deal with the add-ons, we need to deal with the core.
> > no. sorry. if that is what only we are trying to do then I guess we have to
> > give up.
> Then you should take over the copyright from the other contributors, or
> mandate that they accept the LPPL as you deliver it, or get everyone to
> accept the LPPL voluntarily, or something.
> You can't have it both ways. If you treat add-ons outside your control
> as "core" to LaTeX and allow them to be licensed arbitrarily, then you
> must accept the fact that people like us will be forced by the licenses
> to drop portions of it. Otherwise, as has been pointed out before, the
> LPPL could be a free license but LaTeX be non-free, because one file
> within it has an unacceptable modification restriction.
> Put another way: If you refuse to allow us to drop a non-free file, then
> the whole of LaTeX gains a new license: the LPPL plus the conditions of
> the single non-free file. If you don't give us a way around that, then
> your hard work getting the LPPL compliant can be invalidated by a single
> person within the LaTeX community who gets a flight of fancy that
> freedom isn't all that important.
> > > Please clarify something for me. What are the .fst files? Are they
> > > patches?
> > if the nonLaTeX format supports the global remapping features
> > for .sty files .fst files will be used if they exist
> > for .cls files .fcl files will be used if they exist
> > and so on
> > then the only thing that one has to do to fix any file under LPPL is to
> > produce a modified version and name it .fst instead of do .sty and then
> > nonLaTeX will use it. No need to copy huge trees of identical software
> > that was only rehashing why we think the suggested renaming together with the
> > global remapping feature is fully complient with DSFG and easy to use
> I see.
> > > The rights we demand are usually for special cases. For example,
> > > someone might want to create LaTeX Plus with some of his/her new ideas
> > > for how document formatting should be done. Or, you guys might get hit
> > > by a bus, and our obligation to our users requires us to make sure that
> > > LaTeX is taken care of in your absence while the Project figures out who
> > > should take over. Or maybe no one wants to take over, and we maintain
> > > it as a legacy package (which we do for lots of the things we ship).
> > - if somebody wants to make LATeX plus he can already and it is simple and
> > can reuse all things untouched with the above method (and in fact is
> > already done, eg by Lambda
> > - if we get hit by a bus (which we hopefully are not) then the maintainers
> > clause would allow to have people take over without the need to start a new
> > fork
> > - if nobody wouldwant to takeover you could become maintainer (and support it
> > as a legacy package) again without the need to make a fork
> > so there is no problem with the rights needed by Debian for a) its users nor
> > for b) itself
> As long as the rights in the DFSG are granted, then yes, you are
> > > OK. Now I'd like to hear the Debian side. Here are the conditions for
> > > modification that are being proposed as I understand them:
> > >
> > > - you must rename all modified files, or
> > >
> > > - you must rename the whole of LaTeX in your modified copy AND
> > > distribute a pristine copy of LaTeX as well.
> > >
> > > Comments? Branden, Walter, Mark, and Jeremy, I'm especially interested
> > > in your opinions, since you three are the current objectors.
> > before anybody comments, please keep in mind that this has to work for
> > the whole of LaTeX, eg something roughly of the size of tetex at least.
> > The fork of course can be as small as it wish (even if it becomes useless this
> > way).
> It sounds like we would need to define the scope of LaTeX in this case.
> > > > Personally I think also we could go one step further (though others my call me
> > > > back): already provide two formats
> > > >
> > > > - pristine latex
> > > > - nonportable-latex (for the lack of a better name, for them moment)
> > > >
> > > > where nonportable-latex is a latex-variant format that contains the
> > > > fileremapping feature builtin. Then then for each file type in pristine LaTeX
> > > > there would be a "shadow" file type that could be used to modify things to
> > > > your hearts wishes as long as you use the nonpartable-latex. if properly
> > > > drafted
> > > > it could be assured by LPPL that shadow files can't be restricted from
> > > > modifying in place. would that help?
> > >
> > > It sounds like this is a "subcase" of the case I mentioned above, where
> > > you can change the name of LaTeX and distribute a pristine LaTeX, but
> > > then can otherwise modify files without renames for not-LaTeX. Let me
> > > know if I'm missing something.
> > i think you missed something. With my suggestion the only thing one would need
> > to do if one would want to modify (and distribute) any file under LPPL that
> > falls under the filename rename requirenment is to copy it to its "shadow
> > file" which could then be modified freely (without further restriction).
> > And dueto the fact that we already provide the two formats nothing else would
> > need to be done.
> This might be useful, but I'm not sure it satisfies the objections I've
> > > As I mentioned before, the fonts are in a limbo state while we figure
> > > out if we think data files should be required to meet the DFSG. As for
> > > the rest of TeX, I suspect that this will be a future topic of
> > > discussion here.
> > well, do you say that plain.tex is a data file? if that's the case how
> > different is this from latex.ltx (which contains most of thecode in
> > plain.tex)?
> > because if thats the case then the whole of what is currently distributed
> > under LPPL wouldn't make any problem any more as they would all be data
> > files. :-)
> In one sense. I don't think anyone disagrees that they contain active
> content, though.
> > > But whatever the outcome for TeX, if LaTeX is deemed DFSG-free in the
> > > final analysis, you won't have that taken away from you if TeX is moved
> > > to non-free.
> > no. whatever the outcome is for TeX, LaTeX will go with it at least if it is
> > declared unfree because with TeX not in the free tree of Debian, LaTeX there
> > would be useless.
> Not so. "main" and "contrib" contain all DFSG-free software. If TeX
> moves to "non-free", then LaTeX would move to "contrib".
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