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

On Tue, Aug 13, 2002 at 12:00:58AM +0200, Lars Hellström wrote:
> OK, so the patch files can be distributed, but where is the mechanism which
> causes TeX to use them? Well, the DFSG doesn't say there has to be one!
> Patch files must be allowed to be distributed, but there is no condition
> that requires any software to actually use them, or even to have the
> ability to use them. On the other hand it would be mean to simply stop at
> that observation, since the spirit of the condition is clearly that such
> patching should be a simple operation.

Moreover, Debian reserves the right to reject as DFSG-nonfree a license
which attempts to exercise the patch clause of DFSG 4 in such a way
that users can meaningfully modify the source code, and share their
modifications, only in theory, and not in practice.

Your argument is reminiscent of the pro-DMCA arguments of the MPAA and
RIAA.  "Well, of course there are no First Amendment problems with the
DMCA; consumers retain their Fair Use rights in theory.  If we make it
practically impossible for them to exercise them, it's not our problem."

G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |       Extra territorium jus dicenti
branden@debian.org                 |       impune non paretur.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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