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Re: Is LPPL + some additions DSFG free?

On Sun, Mar 16, 2003 at 05:16:11PM +0100, Rene Engelhard wrote:
> I wasn't sure about the LPPL issues; I remember some discussions in
> the last moths and searched, but I haven't found a conclusion in the
> archives...

There hasn't been a conclusion; several people from those very long
discussion about the LPPL have been privately working towards a new
version of the LPPL that is designed to, among other things, alleviate
Debian's concerns about the LPPL.  These discussions are ongoing as of a
week or so ago, though I admit I'm not directly involved in them (I'm
merely in touch with people who are).

The LPPL has not been branded DFSG-non-free and software licensed under
its terms has not been pulled from the Debin archive because it would be
rude to do so before the private discussions between Debian and LaTeX
Project developers have reached some conclusion.

From what I have heard there is reason to be confident that a mutually
amicable arrangement will be reached, resulting in a new LPPL which
unambiguously satisfies the DFSG.  However, since I am not directly
involved I cannot make any estimates as to a timeline on this

> > Since the LPPL is quite restrictive, I'm not sure whether the LPPL +
> > upstream's additions can be seen as DFSG-free. 
> > 
> > The most recent of the (few) statements about the LPPL can be found at
> > http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/1999/debian-legal-199911/msg00145.html
> > However, the thread was not very exhausting, so I'm asking again.

There have been much more recent statements about the LPPL than that.

See, for example:


Discussion ran for literally months after that before it was taken
offline by some of the main participants.

> > It would be nice if answers are cc'ed to me since I'm not subscribed
> > to d-legal.

Part of the reason the discussion of the LPPL are so complex is because
the LPPL is itself a complex license.  The best way to a quick
resolution for this particular issue is to re-license or dual-license
the software under terms that are widely held to be DFSG-free already.
In particular I recommend the MIT/X11 license, the 2-clause or 3-clause
BSD licenses, or the GNU GPL.  Of course, sometimes none of these
licenses meet the needs of the developer.

On the other hand, perhaps the GNU GPL might be a worthwhile dual
license[1]; are there any users of the software in question that wouldn't
be served *either* by the LPPL or by the GNU GPL?

[1] I don't use the MIT/X11 or BSD licenses here because they might be
seen as giving *too many* permissions.

G. Branden Robinson                |    A celibate clergy is an especially
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    good idea, because it tends to
branden@debian.org                 |    suppress any hereditary propensity
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    toward fanaticism.    -- Carl Sagan

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