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Re: Revised LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL)

On Fri, 4 Apr 2003, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> If the Base Format itself is free, why is this non-free?
> On Thu, 2003-04-03 at 19:29, Mark Rafn wrote:
> > Does this conflict with DFSG#9?  This license effectively insists that the
> > Base Format must be free software in order for the Work to be free.
> Well, right, but that doesn't affect the freeness of the Base Format, so
> I don't see how it's a contamination of the other software's license.

I've thought a bit more, and I'm pretty sure this is exactly what DFSG#9 
is talking about.  This software is only free if not distributed with a 
validating Base Format.

It's roughly equivalent to "This software may be modified and distributed 
except on non-free operating systems".  It doesn't demand that all 
software distributed with it be free, but it does demand (by being unfree 
if the condition is not met) that a specific part of the distribution is 

> > For me, the file is combined with my non-validating base format (UnLaTeX).  
> > For him, it's combined with his "standard" latex.  I'm not distributing
> > the file combined with latex, and neither is he.  We're both distributing
> > the file by itself.
> > 
> > He's allowed to redistribute under section 2, as he's not modifying it.  
> > I'm allowed to distribute under 5.a.2, as my Base Format does no such 
> > validation.  
> Sounds fine to me, unless I'm missing something.

Then maybe I'm missing something.  Theres a lot of text in the license
that seems, at first glance, to mean something.  However, if anyone can
make arbitrary in-place modifications and give them out, I'm not sure how
this differs from a BSD-style license.

Why not just say "permission is granted to modify and distribute modified 
versions"?  The part about "as long as there exists a non-validating Base 
Format, which I affirm does exist" is a no-op, right?
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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