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Re: Revised LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL)

Jeremy Hankins writes:
 > Frank Mittelbach <frank.mittelbach@latex-project.org> writes:
 > > Jeremy Hankins writes:
 > >  > Hrm.  So using a package file with LaTeX-Format is not analogous
 > >  > to linking (i.e., doesn't result in a combined, derived work)?
 > >
 > > it is not at all like linking in my understanding.  I take it that
 > > you are not familar with the TeX world. The best analogy that i can
 > > think of right now is this (there might be better ones):
 > I'm not all that knowledgeable about latex, but I do use it and I have
 > read the discussions here.  So correct me if I'm wrong, but my
 > understanding is that a package file has a very intimate level of
 > contact with LaTeX-Format (and, in fact, other package files that are
 > currently loaded).  It may rewrite other bits of code loaded by the
 > TeX binary, and even if that's not happening it has virtually
 > (completely?) unrestricted access (i.e., not restricted to an API) to
 > the other code.

all statements correct, it is virtually completely unrestricted access

 > Either of those seems to raise the possibility of creating a derived
 > work.  Whether anything's compiled and whether anything resembling
 > linking is happening isn't really the issue.

well that i don't believe at least not as long a as such packages are really
separate entities that are only put together for a moment during use.

if that would be legally true then by the same argument then EvilDoer could
dream up EvilLicense put it on on evil.el use it together with emacs and then
claim that EvilLicense has an effect on emacs

 > Chances are this wouldn't be all that serious of a problem in any
 > case, though.  As I said, GPL packages would need an exception to be
 > used with LaTeX-Format, but since they're clearly intended for use
 > with LaTeX-Format it can probably be assumed implicitly (IANAL, of
 > course).  The only serious problem would be if any of them
 > incorporated GPL code from some other non-LaTeX project, where the
 > author of that code didn't clearly expect their code to be used with
 > LPPL'd code.  I have a feeling this isn't terribly likely, but you
 > know better than I.

right now it is not very likely but not impossible, ie all base formats that
are sufficient similar to allow full or partial package exchange are either
LPPL based or using a similar license (eg ConTeXt, plain TeX by Knuth, etc)

however even if not, I can't really believe that a viral effect is possible
just by the possibility to use something with something else. if that would be
true then why has nobody wrote some MS-Word .dot put in under GPL and forced
MS to open their code? :-)

or do i miss something?

I mean I can understand that there could be a problem if you give me some GPL
code and I integrate it into LaTeX-format and distribute the thing as a whole.

 > In other words, I'm just pointing out an issue to be aware of (or at
 > least, for GPL-licensed package authors to be aware of), not something
 > I think is a show-stopper.

well, it is an interesting and important point (if there really is an issue),
as i said, I can't believe there is, but most of you have more experience with
licenses than I do, so further opinions are welcome. perhaps my way of
thinking is flaky at some point


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