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

> Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 11:05:28 -0500
> From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>

> You have an unhealthy obsession with filenames.  A filename is no more

Who is trying to be offensive now? Branden, cannot we make this a
civil discussion, even given the fact we disagree? Believe me, I've
led enough flame wars in the past; I do not have time for this now.

> representative of the name of a work than the page number of a book is
> representative of the book's title.

I understand this opinion. Your assertion that DFSG-4 does not protect
file names logically follows from it. The problem is, I do not share
this opinion. This does not make neither of us a person with an
unhealthy mind; however, there must be some way to resolve this in a
normal way.

> Unless Professor Knuth applies for trademark protection in the names
> "TeX", "METAFONT", and "Computer Modern", the only tool (as far as I
> know) he has at his disposal to *legally* enforce his wishes is
> copyright law.

I am afraid you did not do your homework in this case. The names TeX,
METAFONT and Computer Modern ARE trademarked. Knuth transferred the
trademarks of TeX and CM to the American Mathematical Society, and the
trademark of METAFONT to Addison Wesley Publishing Co.

> Therefore, it is safe to assume that Professor Knuth is in fact
> retaining copyright on TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern so as to
> enforce the restriction on usage of the names of these works.

See above. Since your assmuption is wrong, all conclusions based on it
might be either right or wrong.

> An unscrupulous and impolite person who felt confident of winning a
> possible court battle with Knuth might take a different stance.  Such a
> person might claim that since Knuth has not filed for trademark
> protection in "TeX", "METAFONT", and "Computer Modern", and has also

He did.

> If a copyright holder makes it clear to Debian that we will be taken to
> court if we exercise the freedoms enumerated in the Debian Free Software
> Guidelines, then the work is not DFSG-free in practice regardless of
> what the license says.

Again, there is a precedent, when a Linux distribution packaged a
changed version of CM without changeing the names (note that a version
*with* changed file names is included in every modern TeX
distribution). This *did* cause Don's wrath. If you insist that the
freedom of doing this is guaranteed by DFSG, than TeX is NOT DFSG-free
*in your interpretation*. 

Good luck


BOFH excuse #311:

transient bus protocol violation

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