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Re: Encoding the name in the file contents (was Re: Towards a new LPPL draft)

On Thu, 2002-07-25 at 13:08, Brian Sniffen wrote:
> >>>>> On 25 Jul 2002 12:39:35 -0500, Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org> said:
> > Maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't see the incompatibility.  Can
> > anyone else see it?
> Yes.  Look at Microsoft's Trusted Computing plans: programs will
> identify themselves as "Good".  It'll be illegal to distribute a
> modified program which claims to be "Good."  And while they're doing
> this with the best of intentions, it certainly won't produce Free
> Software.
> In order for me to truly have freedom to modify a program, I must be
> able to change functionality and still have the program work.  In this
> case, if I change something in article.cls, the license compels me to
> change the \NeedsTeXFormat{} argument.  latex.fmt will now no longer load
> my altered article.cls file.  I can go and change latex.fmt, but its
> license compels me to change the filename.
> Now I can either go much with the (GPL'd part of) the tex executable,
> or resign myself to calling sniffentex instead of latex every time I
> compile a LaTeX file with my altered article.cls.  More than that, in
> order for me to usefully distribute my changed article.cls, I need to
> distribute my custom format and such with it.  
> Given all that, I *do* think that this is a free license, because it
> is permissible for the Debian project to create a deblatex.fmt which
> provides LaTeX and DebLaTeX, and preemptively switch all the files to
> NeedsTeXFormat{DebLaTeX}.  Then modifications may be freely made and
> exchanged among users of DebLaTeX, and the LaTeX project has their
> goal of interoperability as well.

I think I see now.  Yes, we do need the ability to hack or remove the
\NeedsTeXFormat stuff entirely if we so desire.

I've posted a new summary with a more comprehensive description of how I
expect this system to work, which will hopefully make things more clear.

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