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Re: Revised LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL)

Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org> wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-04-03 at 20:49, Walter Landry wrote:
> > Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org> wrote:
> > > On Thu, 2003-04-03 at 14:38, Walter Landry wrote:
> > > > I get the feeling that this license is being considered only in the
> > > > context of LaTeX, not in the context of all of free software.  We
> > > > can't say that it is ok to use this license for LaTeX, but not for
> > > > Mozilla, Apache, Samba and OpenSSH.
> > > 
> > > Why not?  We aren't proposing relicensing anything under this license
> > > except for LaTeX itself.
> > 
> > If a program suddenly becomes non-free when you make a certain
> > modification, then it was never free to begin with.  
> So you do not acknowledge that a particular license might contain
> elements that are specific to the problem domain?

Of course I don't acknowledge that.  One of the wonderful things about
free software is that you can apply it to other problem domains.  To
limit the problem domain is to restrict modifications.

> Remember, also, that code taken out of LaTeX can be relicensed to fit
> your needs, as long as 5a is respected.  Taking a piece of code,
> relicensing it under the GPL, and making it a part of GNOME (which
> doesn't have a validator as described in the license) would be a good
> example.  You couldn't reintegrate that code into LaTeX anyway without
> changing LaTeX (unless you were reintegrating it to make it exactly like
> a released version of LaTeX, which is explicitly allowed), which would
> require that you mark it as non-standard, change the file name, etc.

Actually, you can't take LPPL'd code and mix it with GPL code.  It
still carries along the restriction on the name etc. when used with
the original validating framework, which is a restriction beyond what
the GPL requires.

But GPL-compatibility is not important.

> This example seems to indicate that your main problem with the
> validator is that it seems like a programmatic restriction.  If it
> were made more clear that this is not the case, would this satisfy
> you?  How would you change it?

It would satisfy me, but I can't think of a wording that will likely
satisfy the LaTeX people.  The only place where you can really say
that something is only for people, and not for machines, is in
something that machines don't read (e.g. comments).  Beyond that, you
get into things that aren't really part of the program (e.g. don't
call the "thing" LaTeX).

Walter Landry

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