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The license of LaTeX2HTML


I'm about to adopt the Debian package of latex2html. But before, I have
to sort out #204684 [1], a licensing problem (serious, RC). While we got
a license for the code of Mats Dahlgren, the other (and bigger) problem
in the main LaTeX2HTML license remains:

[... disclaimer ...]

Use and copying of this software and the preparation of derivative
works based on this software are permitted, so long as the following
conditions are met:

A  The copyright notice and this entire notice are included intact
   and prominently carried on all copies and supporting documentation.
B  No fees or compensation are charged for use, copies, or
   access to this software. You may charge a nominal
   distribution fee for the physical act of transferring a
   copy, but you may not charge for the program itself.
C  If you modify this software, you must cause the modified
   file(s) to carry prominent notices (a Change Log)
   describing the changes, who made the changes, and the date
   of those changes.
D  Any work distributed or published that in whole or in part
   contains or is a derivative of this software or any part
   thereof is subject to the terms of this agreement. The
   aggregation of another unrelated program with this software
   or its derivative on a volume of storage or distribution
   medium does not bring the other program under the scope
   of these terms.

[... disclaimer ...]

The point is that point B seems to violate DFSG point 1, since  "The
license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from selling or
giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software
distribution containing programs from several different sources. The
license may not require a royalty or other fee for such sale." 

Upstream doesn't want to change the license himself after 2 weeks of
intense discussion. At least, the University of Leeds would have to be
asked about changes, because the original authors worked there 10 years
ago, when the latex2html project was. That would require at least the
time of a complete Debian release cycle and would have to be really
convincing. My suggestion was to apply the GPL or any other OSI-approved

Additionally, the upstream maintainer, Ross Moore, isn't convinced about
my point because he doesn't understand why Debian would be that greedy
and claim money for latex2html where it at least could claim it for the
rest of the distribution. But my interpretation of DFSG.1 is clear. His
opinion was that point D already allows Debian to ship the package in
"main", but I don't agree with that.

What do you think about it? Should we interpret the DFSG more liberally
and say that the "selling" is just related to the _aggregation_ of our
packages (that would be a question about the interpretation and maybe a
call for further explanation in DFSG.1) or do we have to put latex2html
into non-free?

The latter case would be very bad because latex2html is quite popular
and 35 packages in "main" build-depend on it (!).

Maybe I should add that some files in latex2html are GPL'ed, which
possibly forces us / the maintainer to apply the GPL to the whole

Thanks in advance for your help.


[1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=204684

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