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

On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 10:54:37AM +0200, Frank Mittelbach wrote:
> Knuth is unfortunately (or fortunately if you go by the legal content only?)
> somewhat inprecise by using words like "public domain" together with
> "copyrighted" etc.

It's more than imprecise, it is contradictory.  That which is not
copyrighted is in the public domain.

> However I think it would be a poor solution to argue legally that you
> are able to ignore Don's explicit wishes simply because he is a
> Computer Scientist rather than a lawyer and was unable to write it up
> in legal lingua without potential loopholes

Please don't troll.  No one is arguing that the author's explicit
requests can be evaded on a technicality.  Copyright law in Berne
Convention countries sees to it that we cannot.  Where there is doubt,
"all rights reserved" is generally the controlling status.

It is disappointing that you conceive of the Debian Project as
attempting to parse and lawyer its way into taking advantage of a
licensor when we've spent the past few weeks demonstrating just how
unambiguous we require a license to be before we regard it as
DFSG-compliant.  We are not in the habit of putting words into the
mouths of copyright holders; where there is doubt or confusion, we
make conservative assumptions about the author's intent until and unless
that intent can be clarified, and in the meantime we assume that a
license is not DFSG-compliant.

Your presumption is not warranted by any evidence.  I'm a difficult
person to offend, but you've managed to do it with this careless and
spiteful characterization of the Debian Project.

G. Branden Robinson                |     Reality is what refuses to go away
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     when I stop believing in it.
branden@debian.org                 |     -- Philip K. Dick
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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