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

> From: tb@becket.net (Thomas Bushnell, BSG)
> Date: 07 Aug 2002 22:48:36 -0700

> Boris Veytsman <borisv@lk.net> writes:
> > Now it seems that Thomas does not agree with this understanding and
> > says that I do not interpret DFSG correctly. It may be so. I am a
> > Debian *user*, not a Debian developer. However, you seem to
> > accept the second way to be valid. 
> The problem is that *filenames* are not the *names of works* as
> Branden indicates quite ably.  A filename is also a functional
> element, and in that lies all the difference.

I do not contend that filenames are names of of works. I contend that
filenames inside TeX search tree are parts of TeX run-time
environment. If you wish, I completely agree with your notion that
they are functional elements -- and therefore their modification is
change in the program. You are allowed to change them, sure. BUT you
need to change the name of the work TeX first. Because it is not
Kansas anymore.

> > Do we both agree that TeX and friends do not allow the first way of
> > modification, but allow the second one? Does it makes them free or
> > non-free? 
> No, because you've muddled the distinctions.  Either maliciously,
> cluelessly, casually, or just plain ineptly.  But muddle them you
> have!  


> The problem here is that you speak of "TeX and friends" as if there
> were unity!  TeX and METAFONT have one license.  Computer Modern has
> another.  (And you are simply not competent to address any of those.)

Thomas, I am not a lawyer. But I do know the old lawyers rule:

        When the law is against you, argue the facts.
        When the facts are against you, argue the law.
        When both are against you, call the other lawyer names.

It seems you are now on the third stage.

> > Now let us look at the Computer Modern fonts. You cannot modify them
> > in the first way, but you definitely can in the second way. There are
> > derivatives of CM released under other names, which are accepted by
> > the community. Do you consider CM to be non-free then? Why?
> It is irrelevant what is "accepted by the community".  As far as I can
> tell, the CM license prohibits modification, period.  Where do you
> find this "under other names" clause?  And is that under other names
> (innocuous) or does it require actually different filenames?

You see, I find this clause in a precedent. EC fonts are exactly this
-- a derivative of CM fonts under other names. The "community" that
accepted them *includes* a guy named Donald Knuth. You want the right
to interpret DFSG; don't you think Knuth deserves the right ot have a
say in interpretation of his license?

And yes, EC fonts have different filenames.

> > If you consider cmr10.tfm to be a separate work, you might
> > be right. The trick is, it is not exactly a separate work. Rather, it
> > is a distinguishable part of larger entity called "The TeX". 
> No, the CM fonts are not, in fact, part of TeX at all.  You might
> commonly group them, but they have a different license entirely.
> > If you
> > make a drop-in replacement of the file cmr10.tfm, you might argue that
> > you did not modify Computer Modern fonts (especially if you take care
> > to change the banners). However, you definitely changed the larger
> > work, TeX. 
> There is nowhere a license for "the larger work, TeX".  Rather, there
> is a license on the tex.web source (which merely requires that changes
> be in patches), and a license on the TeX name (which is a trademark
> license, and thus no problem, and which says nothing about filenames.) 

Thomas, I stipulate you used LaTeX before Frank Mittelbach did. I
stipulate even that you probably used TeX before Knuth. However, do
you know that there are several things called "TeX"? Besides the
executable /usr/bin/tex there is a format called TeX, represented by
the file tex.fmt (or plain.fmt) generated from plain.tex. This file
you cannot even patch under the license. And generation of the format
*requires* CM fonts. So yes, CM fonts ARE parts of TeX The Format
*just check /usr/share/texmf/web2c/tex.log). The TeXBook describes
both the executable and the format, so CM are parts of the work called

Good luck


Think big.  Pollute the Mississippi.

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