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

> Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 18:53:58 -0400
> From: Simon Law <sfllaw@engmail.uwaterloo.ca>

> > Would you consider libfoo-dev.deb to be free?
> 	Is this not what proprietary library vendors sell?  They sell
> shrink-wrapped libraries, with copyrighted headers that you may use but
> must not modify.  This makes sense for them, since you must expose the
> source of the header files in order to compile.

No, to simplify this case let us consider NO libs included: headers
are ALL that is packaged (I know that has no sense for C, but it does
not matter)

> 	Of course, you are allowed make your own source code redefine
> these includes, which is equivalent to the system LaTeX provides.
> However, the FSF has advised authors not to do this with proprietary
> libraries, because it could be interpreted that you are making a derived
> work by editing the header files, and that you are in a legally shaky
> position.

Let us say the license explicitly says you CAN do this, so this kind
of derivative work is explicitly allowed

> 	I would consider this situation to be an edge case, and a very
> precarious cliff to be teetering above.  Under some interpretations, it
> may be free; but under trial conditions, a judge may very well rule
> against those interpretations.  THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING!

I am not asking whether this is a good thing; my question is whether
this is free, PROVIDED that the ways of modification I mentioned are
explicitly allowed by the license?

Good luck


The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself.
		-- Hilaire Belloc

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