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Re: Concluding the LPPL debate, try 2

On Thu, Jul 25, 2002 at 02:14:18PM -0500, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> The license text would say something like this:
> -----
> The Program may be modified in any way as long as one of the following
> conditions are met:
>  - No part of Standard LaTeX is changed.

The License should define what is meant by "Standard LaTeX".

>  - The Program does not represent itself as Standard LaTeX in any way,
> including the name and any diagnostic output.
> The Project distributes a file with the Program, foo.tex, that describes
> some procedures we have set up to allow derived works to fulfill these
> conditions.

"to allow" is a poor choice of words, because it suggests that there is
a finite number of ways to comply with the license.  As we discussed in
personal conversation, I feel that licenses should communicate policy,
not mechanism.  I suggest:

"The Project distributes a file with the Program, foo.tex, that
enumerates some methods you can use for creating derived works without
violating the terms of this License.  As long as your modifications
satisfy one of the above requirements, exactly how you make them is up
to you."

The second sentence may be deemed unnecessary; I'm just trying to steer
the language to a result-driven orientation.

> LaTeX contributors who value the ability to preserve compatibility
> could, under this license, be careful not to collide with another file

s/could/should/   ?

> name in LaTeX currently, use the name "LaTeX" in the "register" call,
> and license their work under the LPPL.  This would, essentially, make
> their add-on a part of Standard LaTeX, and it would be treated the same
> as any other part of Standard LaTeX with regards to modification.
> Please let me know whether this would work for you.  I'm interested both
> in the LaTeX Project's reaction and Debian's.

I have no fundamental objection to the language you have proposed, but
please take my nitpicks into account.  :)

To be more clear, I do not think the license language you have proposed
has any DFSG 3 or DFSG 4 problems.

G. Branden Robinson                |    Damnit, we're all going to die;
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    let's die doing something *useful*!
branden@debian.org                 |    -- Hal Clement, on comments that
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |       space exploration is dangerous

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