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

Branden Robinson writes:

 > > and only acceptable if it can't be checked by a computer as being the
 > > original.
 > It would be trivially easy to circumvent computer checks.  What about
 > case-sensitivity?  Can I trust a computer to catch ALL of the following
 > uses of "TeX"?

I'm talking of requiring that the work identifies itself by name via interface
to other works (something that could be checked by a computer)

 > TEX
 > tex
 > TEx
 > T e X
 > T X
 >  e
 >  _____   __  __
 > |_   _|__\ \/ /
 >   | |/ _ \\  /
 >   | |  __//  \
 >   |_|\___/_/\_\

lovely but beside the point. I'm not saying there isn'tsomething like a reason
for a trademark or a nebulous "work name" that could be rendered in all kind
of ways as you indicate, but there is also that work " the plain TeX format
that is loaded into TeX via \input{plain}" 

 > I for one would never underestimate the cleverness of Don Knuth fans
 > when it comes to generating algorithms, but I submit that human
 > comprehension is a far superior test for the usage of the name of a
 > "work".

right, that't why i said that Don is concerned with both

 > > really, what is behind all this aren't file names but works (plural),
 > Yup.
 > > and each of such works is supposed not to claim itself as the original
 > > (to other related works) after it was modified, eg a font is a work
 > > and plain.tex is a work as well as tex.web.
 > Rather, what are contained in plain.tex and tex.web are works.  If I
 > print these files out, the name of the file may not be present on the
 > hardcopy.  That doesn't change the applicability of copyright one little
 > bit.

but it also doesn't change its interface identification to a TeX system.

 > > on top of there there is indeed also the collection of such works that have
 > > been given names, such as "TeX" system.
 > Indeed!  It is the names of the works that we use to identify works, not
 > filenames, inode numbers, or MD5 sums.
 > > so it isn't the filename really, it is the identifaction to related software
 > > or if you like to the master piece in the middle (and the filename restriction
 > > is a simple way to implement that)
 > A filename restriction may be a simple way to implement a renaming
 > requirement, but it isn't a DFSG-free way.

som thought differently (as long as it is not a burden) I don't want to go
into that here as my point is precisely that one can do without it indeed.

 > >  > If your assertion that the "name" means "file name of the code for
 > >  > systems with file naming conventions", then Knuth would have no problem
 > >  > with people selling a derivative of TeX that failed his conformance
 > >  > tests, referring to this derivative as "TeX" in its documentation and on
 > >  > the external labelling of the product, but called the executable
 > >  > something else, like "/usr/bin/bandersnatch".
 > > 
 > > Don would because it is both that bothers him and both what he wants people
 > > not to do.
 > Exactly.  So the filename restriction doesn't actually achieve much in
 > and of itself.  What's important is the name of the work, as it is
 > perceived by a human being.  A human being can use the TeX system
 > without ever perceiving any filenames aside from those of the document
 > he or she is processing!

but neither does the work name achieve anything in itself. it is 
BOTH BOTH BOTH the make it a whole

 > >  > The name of a copyrighted work is the name of a copyrighted work. This
 > >  > is a legal construct with legal meaning, and is interpreted by humans
 > >  > for human purposes.  
 > > 
 > > fine with the first sentence :-) and with the first half of the second. but
 > > who says that a name of a work is only for humans?
 > Well, I realize I'm being a bit parochial in terms of jurisdiction here,
 > but:
 > Title 17 of the United States Code is the corpus of copyright law in the
 > United States.  Title 17 was drafted under the authority of Article I,
 > ...

my God ... :-) but who says that interpretation by computer is necessarily not
for humans?

 > It is very much the topic.  Does Knuth regard it as an infringement of
 > his rights in TeX, METAFONT, or the Computer Modern fonts if Debian
 > changes some of the files comprising those works without changing the
 > filenames...even if we rename our derived works to something other than
 > "TeX", "METAFONT", or "Computer Modern"?

i'm pretty sure he does. but he offers you plenty other possibilities to
change his work(s)

 > If he would, these works are not DFSG-free.  We won't force Knuth to
 > take us to court to persuade us of his feelings.

that is your opinion. it might be the opinion of Debian, it might not if it is
you better check with Don if my assumption above is not farfetched (or perhaps
somebody is able to find the reference to this font story with modified CM
fonts) and then you move TeX to non-free and we can close this thread.

I for my part repeat myself, as well as you (so we might as well stop both)

 > /me awaits the inevitable evidence that no, it isn't obvious

wait then

 > > But more to the point right now the works by Don have file renaming
 > > requirements.
 > Only if one doesn't regard
 > <http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=3c2q2h%24oj1%40sifon.cc.mcgill.ca>
 > as meaningful.

i does, but that is just the article Claire was citing.

 > > In practice I think what is really intended is requiring to have the work
 > > identify itself with a different name through the interfaces it is interacting
 > > with related software.
 > I disagree, I think what is intended is a requirement to have the work
 > identify itself with a different name through the interfaces with which
 > it is interacting with a *human*.

ultimatively acting with a human, but not necessarily at all directly.

 > 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.

yes, but there are several layers of computer software mediating between start
and human perception. 

anyway, assuming that you are right, is there a problem with that? would it be
DSFG-nonfree to request it?

 > > However Don has written it up as file renaming requirements since that is what
 > > you think of first in that context.
 > 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.

but the individual font names are not, so if you think you are allowed to
package your-nifty-little-fonts that unpack to cmr10.... then you do exactly
what Don wishes you not to do.

 > It sounds like everything that Knuth wants to do from a legal
 > perspective can be -- and probably already is -- accomplished via
 > trademark licenses on the terms "TeX", "METAFONT", and "Computer
 > Modern".

As i said before I seriously doubt that because, for example, he would not
want you to distribute a TeX program with fonts that yre not computer modern
but load as if they are (and i doubt that trademarks alone would prevent you
from that)


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