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Re: Knuth statement on renaming cm files and Licence violation.

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>>>>> On Wed, 04 Sep 2002 20:36:23 -0700, Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu> said:

> On the other hand, this has been the copying policy for TeX fonts since
> pretty much the beginning of TeX.  This isn't new.  Which makes me
> confused when I see comments like:

>> There'll probably be an attempt at a fork from the last known free
>> license,

> because it seems to me like they misunderstand the nature of the
> situation.  So far as I know, this is very basic to the nature of TeX;
> according to Knuth's writings that I'm familiar with, it was part of his
> goal in how he wrote the TeX system from very early on.  There is no "last
> known free license" that I've heard of in the sense that you mean.

And if you'd taken that sentence in the context of its paragraph,
you'd have seen that it referred explicitly to LaTeX.  Please check
the debian-legal archives for the past summer to gain context in the
recent LPPL debate.  It's been fascinating to watch.

As far as the CM fonts go, if the end resolution of this is that their
license prohibits using the same .mf or .tfm file names for derivative
works as for the modified works (which seems unlikely), then I'd
expect one of two things to happen:

1. At a cost of great effort, new fonts with the same names as the CM
   fonts are built.  They are probably not as good, but they are free
   and thus continually improve.  Sufficient noise is made about this
   in the free software community that tetex and many Linux
   distributions start using them by default.

2. The file names are changed in the Debian tetex bundle, and all the
   APIs updated.  Now it's possible to make arbitrary changes without
   having to change any extra functional parts, though there's still an
   annoying license about what names you may change *to*.

Fortunately, as Thomas has repeatedly explained, the license on the CM
fonts appears to require changing only the .mf file name, which is not
a functional part.

- -Brian

- -- 
Brian Sniffen                                         bts@akamai.com
Security Engineer         day: (617) 444-2642    cel: (617) 721-0927
Akamai Technologies       eve: (617) 354-1526     pi: (314) 159-2654 
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