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Re: latex2html license: "A Letter to Leeds University", round 2

Hi MJ,

Wed, 14 Jan 2004 12:26:53 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> On 2004-01-14 11:53:08 +0000 Roland Stigge <stigge@antcom.de> wrote:
>> Subject: The license of LaTeX2HTML
> I think "Re: " is more normal for British letters and placed below
> the salutation.

I would prefer the current German DIN-Brief (Deutsche Industrie-Norm)
format, because I know it best. But feel free to recommend another LaTeX
document style.

Besides, isn't "Re:" the abbrev. for "Reply"? The letter is not a reply.

>> The reason I am writing to you is that there is some uncertainty about
>> the ownership of the copyright that vests in LaTeX2HTML. Mr Drakos 
>> has signalled a
> I'd replace "that vests in" with "of"

OK, since you are not the first DD who doesn't like "vest", I will just
change it. :)

>> willingness to change the licensing terms for LaTeX2HTML but wonders if he 
>> needs your permission or support to do so due to the fact that he was employed
>> by the University at the time of creating the software. As a precaution, we
>> would like your written agreement to change the license terms for LaTeX2HTML
>> from its current license to the GNU General Public License (GPL)
>> (Verbatim copies of these two licenses are enclosed.).
> It may be good to offer them the alternative to disclaim it. "As a precaution,
> we would like you to disclaim any copyright interest in LaTeX2HTML, or give
> written agreement..."

I don't think that this would be a good idea. While it could make them
hesitate to reply / agree to my questions, the benefit would be minimal.
After all, they (if at all) have only part of the copyright in

btw: What do DDs with "written permissions" do? Is there a central place
to collect them?

>> The current license for LaTeX2HTML was unquestionably written as a Free
>> Software / Open Source license, however one aspect of the license causes the
>> Debian project difficulties.
> This seems just plain wrong. If it prevents any fee being charged, isn't that
> neither free software nor open source?

I will probably replace "written" with "intended". I hope this makes it
more clear.

>> * Debian is not the only project distributing LaTeX2HTML. Other distributions
>> of the popular GNU/Linux system like RedHat and SuSE and
>> different BSD derivates also use LaTeX2HTML and probably have the same
>> problem.
> "...and will notice it in the future."?

Rather, I think that even if "the others" know about, they just don't
care. But that's only my personal impression. (Am I too honest for this
job at legal issues? ;)

Thanks for your suggestions.


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