Knuth statement on renaming cm files and Licence violation.
Having been away I just have just (rather depressingly) caught up with
the August archive of latex licence discussion.
There seems to be the usual quota of misinformation concerning the tex
licence, but one particular point was raised.
As has been mentioned the "rename clause" of computer modern licence was
invoked to cause linux distributions to stop distributing modified cm
fonts (ie tfms different from Knuth's, not just as Thomas Bushnell has
claimed, the .mf source files).
The text of Knuth's statement appears to have been removed from all the
obvious places where it was posted at the time, but I turned up a copy
at this address:
It is prefixed (In German, which I can't read, sorry) by a statement
from the president of German TeX users group, but it contains the full
text (in English) of Knuth's statement asserting that he believed that
the distribution of the modified tfms was
"in direct violation of my stipulation on the copyright page of Computers
& Typesetting, Volume E."
Further on he goes on to say
Dear friends, I decided to put these fonts into the public domain rather
than to make them proprietary; all I have asked is that nobody change them,
UNLESS THE NAME IS CHANGED, so that every user can obtain equivalent results
on all computer systems, now and 50 years from now. I went to enormous
efforts to make TeX and METAFONT systems equivalent on hundreds of different
computers, and to make them archival as no commercial software has ever
been. If you want to improve the fonts, go ahead, but DON'T GIVE YOUR FONTS
THE SAME NAME AS MINE. I insist that every font named cmr10 have the same
font metrics, so that TeX will choose exactly the same line breaks and page
breaks on every computer system in the world. This compatibility must be
enforced by peer pressure (boycotts, bad publicity , etc.), to anybody who
breaks the rules. The TeX Users Group is now deciding how best to condemn
this action and to keep the cancer from infecting too many systems.
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