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Bug#473216: texlive-latex-extra: foilhtml.sty undistributable?



On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 21:41:35 +0200 Frank Küster wrote:

> Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> wrote:
> 
> > "You are *not* allowed to modify this file."
> > is not true, since I *am* allowed to modify this file, provided that I
> > comply with some (DFSG-free) restrictions included in the license text.
> 
> Not if you read the LPPL literally: You are allowed to create a new
> generated file from a changed source, but you are not allowed to edit
> the existing generated file and add the source file unchanged (or
> distribute without source anyway).

Mmmh, I am not overly familiar with the LPPL 1.3, unfortunately (I have
not yet opened that can of worms...).

First of all, I cannot find it in texlive packages.
It really should be copied into debian/copyright files, as mandated by
Debian Policy.

Apart from this, I cannot fully understand your objection, anyway.
Do you mean that the LPPL has a definition of source that does not
allow changing its form?
I mean, suppose I receive a GPL'd program written in COBOL: I may
translate it into C++ (by hand or even in an automated way), then
modify the C++ code in order to add new features and finally distribute
the modified C++ code as the source for the modified program.  The GNU
GPL allows this, since it has a "flexible" definition of source.

Is a similar scenario forbidden if I receive an LPPL'd program?

> 
> Of course, if you apply the same patch, including versin information, to
> both files and don't recreate the generated file, no one can prove that
> you didn't abide by the wording of the license, and for sure you did
> follow the spirit.

What if my preferred form for making modifications to foilhtml.sty is
*really* the .sty format, rather than its original source?
I mean, what if I *honestly* prefer modifying the .sty file directly?

> 
> > "You are *not* allowed to distribute this file."
> > is not true, since I *am* allowed to distribute this file, provided
> > that I comply with some (DFSG-free) restrictions included in the
> > license text.
> 
> That's right. It would be good to contact upstream and ask them to
> phrase it correctly.  Who will do it...?

That's an interesting question.
I have a poor knowledge of the LPPL, so I cannot volunteer until I
clarify (at least) the above-mentioned points.

Moreover, foilhtml.sty has the following copyright notice:

%% Copyright Boris Veytsman 1997

That's not really recent.
Have you got any means to get in touch with the copyright holder (that
is to say, a currently active e-mail address)?


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