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

> Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 14:07:45 -0500
> From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>

> It is *human* confusion that Knuth has sought to avoid, not confusion on
> the part of computers.  Strictly speaking, computers don't get confused.
> They do what they're told, or throw an exception.


> In my opinion the file renaming requirement is unnecessary.  I note that
> Boris just pointed out that "TeX", "METAFONT", and "Computer Modern" are
> all actual trademarks.
> This has the potential to clear matters up considerably.  It is quite
> possible that the works commonly referred to as "TeX", "METAFONT", and
> "Computer Modern" are in fact in the public domain as Knuth once stated.
> Therefore, copyright does not attach to these works.
> That's quite orthogonal to the issue of trademarks, and trademarks can
> still be used to control the application of the names "TeX", "METAFONT",
> and "Computer Modern" to anything within the registered type of goods
> and services, not just computer code.

Let us clarify this a bit. Suppose I change the file cmr10.tfm without
changing its name. As long as TeX does not see it, I do not think
Knuth objects. However, if TeX DOES see it, it does not behave like
the trademarked TeX with the trademarked Computer Modern fonts,
correct?  Therefore if I package and distribute the changed fonts with
my TeX distribution without either (a) changing their name OR (b)
taking reasonable effort to assert the user that my distribution is
*not* TeX, I violate Knuth's TM, correct?

Now suppose that I distribute these fonts *without* TeX. Do I violate
the law? I do not know, but I think that if the inteneded use of the
files is with TeX, I violate the spirit, if not the letter, of Knuth's

Now the questions are:

1. Could we interpret Knuth's intentions as "you can do anything with
   cmr10.tfm, as long as TeX(TM) behaves exactly in the same way" [and
   I do not care about your unTeX]?

2. If we could, would this interpretation be deemed DFSG-free?

3. If (2) is true, can we model LPPL to reflect the same behavior?

I hope we can find the middle ground along these lines. 

Good luck


Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be
		-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"

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