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

> Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 21:41:45 -0500
> From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>

> Well, as you noted, the TM (trademark) isn't Knuth's.  The trademarks
> belong to the AMS and Addison-Wesley.  (Though I would hope they have
> taken the time to consult with Knuth so as to not enforce the trademarks
> in a way that he would find abhorrent.)

I think this ponint is rather technical. AFAIK Knuth transferred the
trademark of TeX to AMS because he did not want to be bothered by
lawyers and because he wanted the protection after his death (there
are definite wishes of Knuth about the status of TeX and CM after his
death). I cannot imagine AMS doing anything against his expressed

To say the truth, I cannot understand why he chose Addison-Wesley for
METAFONT, but this is beyond the point.

> A license (whether it is a license on TeX as-a-work [copyright] or
> TeX-as-a-name [trademark]), that requires that a modified cmr10.tfm
> *EITHER* (a) change its filename OR (b) make a reasonable effort to
> inform the user that the font itself, or the TeX system with which it is
> distributed, it not official, would not violate the DFSG.

Fine. I am glad we can go this far.

> > 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
> > license.=20
> I'd disagree.  I'd say that any license -- copyright or trademark --
> that purports to tell people what they can or cannot name files on their
> computers, even if they are original works, is a problem.

What about *distribution*? Distribution makes things different.

> It depends on whether you mean Knuth's "cmr10.tfm" as a work, or as a
> name.
> Your question is phrased in a way that makes it difficult for me to
> answer clearly.  Let me make some assertions and hope I cover the bases.
> * Users must have the freedom to modify cmr10.tfm, first and foremost.

Ok. Does this mean they must have the freedom to distribute the
modified cmr10.tfm in any manner, *including* packaging the file with

> * Debian can live with it if users are required to rename the derived
>   Work that results from their modifications to cmr10.tfm.


> * Users must have the freedom to rename cmr10.tfm as a file if they
>   wish, irrespective of whether or not they have changed it.

Again, what about distribution of changes? Can it be restricted? How?
Can I redistribute the changes together with TeX? With an automatic
script to substitute Knuthian files by the modified ones?

> * Debian tolerates the compelled inclusion of notices in human-readable
>   form that a Work has been modified from its original state.  These
>   notices can take many possible forms.  A license can *encourage* the
>   inclusion of notices in as clear or as obfuscated a manner as it
>   wishes, however the license must be able to be satisfied with a notice
>   that is available on inspection of the modified work.  The GNU GPL
>   contains an example of what the Debian Project considers
>   reasonable.


> * Users must have the freedom to create completely original works, and
>   use *filenames* for these works that, coincidentally or not, happen to
>   be same as the names of files that an already-existing licensed work
>   contains.


> * Note that the title of a Work -- that is, its name -- is not itself
>   subject to copyright protection in the United States and many other
>   countries[1].  To effectively restrict authors' rights to name an
>   original work the same as an existing work, trademarks must applied
>   for in the jurisdictions of interest.  Debian tolerates -- via DFSG 4
>   -- trademark practices, but only insofar as they refer to the naming
>   or versioning of a work, and not to any other application.  Any other
>   restrictive application of trademark protection can result in a DFSG
>   violation and Debian will take whatever steps it deems necessary to
>   protect itself and its users from legal liability or harassment from
>   licensors, just as we have done with software patents.  (This means
>   that sometimes a DFSG-free copyright license isn't enough to get your
>   software into main, if you or some third party is using patent or
>   trademark law to frustrate the exercise of rights that the DFSG
>   attempts to guarantee.)

I think you need to clarify what is not allowable in this case.

> > 3. If (2) is true, can we model LPPL to reflect the same behavior?
> >=20
> > I hope we can find the middle ground along these lines.=20
> Me too!

Again, I would like to remind that I do not speak for LaTeX3 project
or LaTeX community in general. I speak strictly in singular

Good luck


"Let us condemn to hellfire all those who disagree with us."
-- militant religionists everywhere

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