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Suggestion for dual-licensed LaTeX (was Re: Encoding the name in the file contents (was Re: Towards a new LPPL draft))



I'd like to suggest a licensing variant for LaTeX which uses a
weakened form of the API restrictions discussed earlier.  In its
simplest form, this requires distribution of two versions of LaTeX.
One is under a no-cost-but-proprietary modification ("OpenLaTeX")
similar to the LPPL3, but which allowed code licensed under it to also
be used under the terms of the FreeLaTeX license.  The other
("FreeLaTeX") is under a DFSG-free license which:

* permits free modification and distribution of modified code

* does not permit use of the "I'm a part of OpenLaTeX" command

* does not permit creation of a file 'latex.fmt'

* permits any code licensed under it to be used under the terms of the
  OpenLaTeX license.


The net effect of this is that academics and those who care primarily
about document permenance would use OpenLaTeX:  it's got a stable,
controlled interface, lives up to the ideals of the LaTeX project
regarding static document rendering, and gets to benefit from
interesting works developed for FreeLaTeX.  Debian would not be able
to put OpenLaTeX in its main archive, but might well distribute it in
the non-free archive.

Those who care primarily about the freeness of software, or who wish
to take a macro language apart and put it together again, would use
FreeLaTeX.  Debian could distribute FreeLaTeX in its main archive.
There would be no guarantee that FreeLaTeX would not have many
incompatible versions.

Frank, Debian folk, what do you think?  Would this meet both of your
requirements?

-Brian

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