Re: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)
> Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 23:09:17 +0100
> From: Andrew Suffield <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Since it is almost certainly not possible to trademark a filename
> anyway, the solution seems fairly clear. We find a free font to
> replace this one with, and we drop it in place as cmr10.mf, excising
> the old computer modern font to the non-free archive. Suggestions for
> a suitable replacement are welcome.
I am afraid you cannot do this: since TeX is trademarked, you cannot
substitute a new font for it without violating trademark.
Let me give you this example. Suppose you licensed a Coca-Cola factory
from Coca-Cola. Now you noticed that the name Coca-cola is
trademarked, but the name "Sugar" is not. You substitute sugar by
honey in the original recipe and distribute the mixture as
Coca-Cola(TM). Do you think that Coca-Cola would not mind?
> It is clear that these fonts have not been conclusively and decisively
> proven to be DFSG-free.
Unfortunately the only way for you to move these fonts to non-free is
to move *the whole distribution* of TeX there (or move some parts to
contrib and others to non-free). Otherwise you cannot call your
Again, this is the way TeX-the-system (as opposite to
tex-the-executable) is licensed. There are parts you can change in
certain well-defined ways. You can change the behavior of
the system in these ways. There are parts you can NOT change. There is
no way you can change certain things (like the output of
tex &plain example.tex). You can do whatever you want as long it is
not TeX -- but as soon as it is TeX, you have certain rules to obey.
All implementations of TeX MUST give exactly same results. There is no
way for you to allow this and simulatenously allow "small incompatible
changes". If you cannot imageine freedom without this, TeX is not free
Or, recalling the famous paper, TeX is not a Bazaar. It is a great
example of a Cathedral. It is designed in this way, and the author
took legal means for it to stay in this way. If you equate freedom
with Bazaar, you cannot say that TeX is free.
If there were a school for, say, sheet metal workers, that after three
years left its graduates as unprepared for their careers as does law
school, it would be closed down in a minute, and no doubt by lawyers.
-- Michael Levin, "The Socratic Method