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Re: Revised LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL)

Barak Pearlmutter writes:
 > > > Something like this:
 > > > 
 > > >     You must not cause files to misrepresent themselves as approved by
 > > >     the official LaTeX maintenance group, or to misrepresent
 > > >     themselves as perfectly compatible with such files (according to
 > > >     compatibility criteria established by the official LaTeX
 > > >     maintenance group).

as far as I can see that isn't so much different from what I tried to express
with my suggested rewrite of 5.a.2 except that I think I made it more explicit
rather than something that is up to debate whether or not it fools users.
(has a bit to do which what we call "small-print" clauses over here i guess)

 > > 
 > > does this ban
 > > 
 > > % This is not actually standard LaTeX, but we do this for ease of use:
 > > \set{\latexversion}{standard}
 > > 
 > > The LaTeX people [...] want a ban on something which
 > > programmatically interfaces in certain ways with Standard LaTeX.
 > > The DFSG will accept a ban on making false claims of authorship to
 > > humans, but not a ban on making such false claims to a program.
 > Well, under the "misrepresentation" clause above, this would in fact
 > be banned ... if its effect were to misrepresent the file as standard
 > LaTeX, and the comment were just a subterfuge.  Whether this is the
 > case would depend on the context.  But if something like that ended up
 > fooling people about whether it was standard, then it certainly would
 > be a misrepresentation!

right, but depending on the context we wouldn't mind, eg a package that
explicitly rewrites the check for original versions

 > On the other hand, my impression is that the LaTeX people would be
 > okay with such a file if (in context) there was care being taken to
 > not fool anyone (accidentally or deliberately) into thinking that what
 > was running was standard LaTeX, and the line of code were the just a
 > technical means to get something to run, eg with some modified
 > non-standard proprietary engine.

we are explicitly happy with, explicitly disabling the mechanism to inform the
user as disabling it explicitly means a concise choice by the user, eg by
loading a package that does this.

note that technically there is nothing in interpreted languages like LaTeX
that allows you to prevent redefining everything to everything else. so it is
not the case that (what was called the validator) can be disabled only the
level of the base format. it can be disabled at any time and this is something
you can't prevent (and you wouldn't want to).

 > In other words, I suspect that what is really going on is a question
 > of INTENT, and subsequent effect.  In this light, maybe the reason the
 > LaTeX people are having such problems crafting a clear simple license

well, opinions vary :-) I don't think the license is that unclear (well, not
in that particular point), but it seems to be that you prefer to make
something more implicit, that, for the benefit of a clear interpretation could
be made explicit, on the grounds(?) that this is "more free" in terms of
giving more choices, while I think that if the base format has such a facility
to inform the user and a derived work would claim through that facility that
it is the original work that this would (by community expectation) fooling
people, ie something that would also be banned the sugested rewrite above.

so, as far as i can see right now even your rewording would effectively result
in the same requirement in the end, in which case we thought it better to
spell it out.

so far my first thoughts on this. please be patient with me, English is not my
first language so expressing thoughts in it is not that easy and often error

 > is that at root they want to ban something based on intent, but (being
 > computer programmers) they're trying to implement this by writing more
 > and more complicated rules related to mechanism, and getting more and
 > more specific to their particular implementation.

it is true that the license is particular to a specific type of program: one
that is interpreted with a "base <something>". as somebody said, (perhaps Jeff)
it is not necessary a license that would be applicable for all types of
things, but it tries to codify what is important in a domain where the program
also serves as an exchange medium, and it tries to ensure that the _user_ is
knowledgable about whether or not he is using the standard or something
else. it is his or her choice to use something different and the license is
intended to make that easy and simple (and in fact does, at least within the
specific domain for which it is intended).

by the way, can i ask for some comments on my suggested rewrite of 5.a.2 since
i thought it should make things clearer that we are talking about a facility
to address the user rather than a facility to "validate" in a very general
sense. (since i just spotted something stronger than meant, here is shot 2a,
with the last sentence revised):

     2. If the file is used directly by the Base Format when run, and the Base
        Format provides a facility for such files to inform the user that it
        is part of the original parts of The Work, then the file does not
        represent itself to the user as being the unmodified original Work.
        This does not imply that the Base Format must provide such a facility;
        only that, if such a facility is available, it must be used in the
        normal way to inform the user about the modification.

(well, i don't know, something along these lines or, say, inbetween that and
the suggestion above)


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