[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

Knuth's famous letter outlining his plans for further development
of TeX appeared in TUGboat, and also appeared in comp.text.tex in

The most relevant sections appear to me to be

   I have put these systems into the public domain so that people
   everywhere can use the ideas freely if they wish. I have also
   spent thousands of hours trying to ensure that the systems
   produce essentially identical results on all computers. I
   strongly believe that an unchanging system has great value,
   even though it is axiomatic that any complex system can be
   improved. Therefore I believe that it is unwise to make further
   `improvements' to the systems called \TeX\ and \MF. Let us
   regard these systems as fixed points, which should give the
   same results 100~years from now that they produce today.


   As stated on the copyright pages of Volumes~B, D, and~E,
   anybody can make use of my programs in whatever way they wish,
   as long as they do not use the names \TeX, \MF, or Computer
   Modern. In particular, any person or group who wants to produce
   a program superior to mine is free to do so. However, nobody is
   allowed to call a system \TeX\ or \MF\ unless that system
   conforms 100\%\ to my own programs, as I have specified in the
   manuals for the trip and trap tests. And nobody is allowed to
   use the names of the Computer Modern fonts in Volume~E for any
   fonts that do not produce identical {\tt.tfm} files. This
   prohibition applies to all people or machines, whether
   appointed by TUG or by any other organization. I do not intend
   to delegate the responsibility for maintainance of \TeX, \MF,
   or Computer Modern to anybody else, ever.

I read this statement as saying that anyone can do anything they
want with the code in the .web files, so long as they don't call
the resulting systems/fonts TeX, METAFONT, or Computer Modern.

Unless, of course, the pseudo-TeX or pseudo-METAFONT systems pass
the trip and trap tests, in which case they *can* be called TeX or
METAFONT, respectively.

In other words, despite what it says in the individual files, I
think that we don't have any problems distributing TeX.


 Man cannot be civilised, or be kept civilised by what he does in his
	    spare time; only by what he does as his work.
			     W.R. Lethaby
  C.M. Connelly               c@eskimo.com                   SHC, DS

Reply to: