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

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

On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 01:34:43AM -0700, C.M. Connelly wrote:
>    I have put these systems into the public domain so that people
>    everywhere can use the ideas freely if they wish.
>    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.

These statements are in tension.  If Professor Knuth asserts the latter,
he logically *cannot* be asserting the former.

Knuth is asserting his copyright to impose the restrictions described
above; therefore TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern are not in the
public domain.

Even, I'm afraid, if Professor Knuth says they are.

Someday, Professor Knuth should be contacted and asked to remove the
statement "I have put these systems into the public domain" because it
is clearly not true.

> 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.

I agree that the terms quoted above do not violate the DFSG.

G. Branden Robinson                |    A celibate clergy is an especially
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    good idea, because it tends to
branden@debian.org                 |    suppress any hereditary propensity
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    toward fanaticism.    -- Carl Sagan

Attachment: pgpY3AyhaNZC1.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: