C.M. Connelly | 2 Aug 10:16 2002

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)


"RB" == Richard Braakman <dark <at> xs4all.nl>

    RB> On Wed, Jul 17, 2002 at 10:54:54AM -0500, Jeff Licquia
    RB> wrote:
    >> That would be a problem, in my opinion.  Unfortunately, I'm
    >> having trouble verifying the TeX licensing situation, so I
    >> can't comment on the status of TeX in Debian.  I'll check
    >> that file out if I can find it.

    RB> It's in the source of tetex-bin (texk/web2c/tex.web).
    RB> I've already filed bug#153257 to ask about it.

So far as I know, Thomas Esser, teTeX's upstream, does not have
special privileges for redistributing Knuth's .web files, nor does
Olaf Weber, the current maintainer of the Web2C distribution of
TeX, which Thomas Esser's teTeX uses as its core.

Web2C is distributed under the GPL, but the introduction to the
Web2C manual (available in /usr/share/info/web2c.info-1.gz or
/usr/share/doc/texmf/programs/web2c.pdf.gz) says the
following:

   Availability: All of Web2c is freely available---"free" both in
   the sense of no cost (free ice cream) and of having the source
   code to modify and/or redistribute (free speech). (See section
   `unixtex.ftp' in Kpathsea, for the practical details of how to
   obtain Web2c.) Different parts of the Web2c distribution have
   different licensing terms, however, reflecting the different
   circumstances of their creation; consult each source file for
(Continue reading)

C.M. Connelly | 2 Aug 10:34 2002

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)


Knuth's famous letter outlining his plans for further development
of TeX appeared in TUGboat, and also appeared in comp.text.tex in
<http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=3c2q2h%24oj1%40sifon.cc.mcgill.ca>.

The most relevant sections appear to me to be

   I have put these systems into the public domain so that people
   everywhere can use the ideas freely if they wish. I have also
   spent thousands of hours trying to ensure that the systems
   produce essentially identical results on all computers. I
   strongly believe that an unchanging system has great value,
   even though it is axiomatic that any complex system can be
   improved. Therefore I believe that it is unwise to make further
   `improvements' to the systems called \TeX\ and \MF. Let us
   regard these systems as fixed points, which should give the
   same results 100~years from now that they produce today.

   [deletia]

   As stated on the copyright pages of Volumes~B, D, and~E,
   anybody can make use of my programs in whatever way they wish,
   as long as they do not use the names \TeX, \MF, or Computer
   Modern. In particular, any person or group who wants to produce
   a program superior to mine is free to do so. However, nobody is
   allowed to call a system \TeX\ or \MF\ unless that system
   conforms 100\%\ to my own programs, as I have specified in the
   manuals for the trip and trap tests. And nobody is allowed to
   use the names of the Computer Modern fonts in Volume~E for any
   fonts that do not produce identical {\tt.tfm} files. This
(Continue reading)

Frank Mittelbach | 2 Aug 10:54 2002

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

C.M. Connelly writes:
 > I read this statement as saying that anyone can do anything they
 > want with the code in the .web files, so long as they don't call
 > the resulting systems/fonts TeX, METAFONT, or Computer Modern.

Knuth is unfortunately (or fortunately if you go by the legal content only?)
somewhat inprecise by using words like "public domain" together with
"copyrighted" etc.

what seems to me important, however, is that he explicitly refers to the
copyright pages of the Computers and Typesetting series B, D, and E and those
pages do not only require:

 > Unless, of course, the pseudo-TeX or pseudo-METAFONT systems pass
 > the trip and trap tests, in which case they *can* be called TeX or
 > METAFONT, respectively.

but explicitly state, for example: "However, use of the name `METAFONT' is
restricted to software systems that agree exactly with the program presented
here'.

In other words, the trip and trap tests are necessary but not sufficent
conditions to allow a program to call itself TeX or METAFONT. It is supposed
to be 100% the original program, eg additional features render it invalid and
this is something Knuth has stated over and over again.

The copyright page for volume E (fonts) is even stronger  in requesting that
any fonts cmr10, cmbx10, ... are supposed to be fully compatible in metrics
and encoding to be allowed to use these names.

(Continue reading)

Branden Robinson | 5 Aug 08:54 2002
Picon

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 01:34:43AM -0700, C.M. Connelly wrote:
>    I have put these systems into the public domain so that people
>    everywhere can use the ideas freely if they wish.
[...]
>    As stated on the copyright pages of Volumes~B, D, and~E,
>    anybody can make use of my programs in whatever way they wish,
>    as long as they do not use the names \TeX, \MF, or Computer
>    Modern. In particular, any person or group who wants to produce
>    a program superior to mine is free to do so. However, nobody is
>    allowed to call a system \TeX\ or \MF\ unless that system
>    conforms 100\%\ to my own programs, as I have specified in the
>    manuals for the trip and trap tests. And nobody is allowed to
>    use the names of the Computer Modern fonts in Volume~E for any
>    fonts that do not produce identical {\tt.tfm} files. This
>    prohibition applies to all people or machines, whether
>    appointed by TUG or by any other organization. I do not intend
>    to delegate the responsibility for maintainance of \TeX, \MF,
>    or Computer Modern to anybody else, ever.

These statements are in tension.  If Professor Knuth asserts the latter,
he logically *cannot* be asserting the former.

Knuth is asserting his copyright to impose the restrictions described
above; therefore TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern are not in the
public domain.

Even, I'm afraid, if Professor Knuth says they are.

Someday, Professor Knuth should be contacted and asked to remove the
statement "I have put these systems into the public domain" because it
(Continue reading)

Frank Mittelbach | 5 Aug 12:01 2002

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

Branden Robinson writes:
 > On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 01:34:43AM -0700, C.M. Connelly wrote:
 > >    I have put these systems into the public domain so that people
 > >    everywhere can use the ideas freely if they wish.
 > [...]
 > >    As stated on the copyright pages of Volumes~B, D, and~E,
 > >    anybody can make use of my programs in whatever way they wish,
 > >    as long as they do not use the names \TeX, \MF, or Computer
 > >    Modern. In particular, any person or group who wants to produce
 > >    a program superior to mine is free to do so. However, nobody is
 > >    allowed to call a system \TeX\ or \MF\ unless that system
 > >    conforms 100\%\ to my own programs, as I have specified in the
 > >    manuals for the trip and trap tests. And nobody is allowed to
 > >    use the names of the Computer Modern fonts in Volume~E for any
 > >    fonts that do not produce identical {\tt.tfm} files. This
 > >    prohibition applies to all people or machines, whether
 > >    appointed by TUG or by any other organization. I do not intend
 > >    to delegate the responsibility for maintainance of \TeX, \MF,
 > >    or Computer Modern to anybody else, ever.
 > 
 > These statements are in tension.  If Professor Knuth asserts the latter,
 > he logically *cannot* be asserting the former.
 > 
 > Knuth is asserting his copyright to impose the restrictions described
 > above; therefore TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern are not in the
 > public domain.

I agree.
My interpretation of history here is that Don (as many others, especially in
the past) used "in the public domain" not in its legal sense but as "freely
(Continue reading)

Branden Robinson | 5 Aug 16:33 2002
Picon

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

On Mon, Aug 05, 2002 at 12:01:09PM +0200, Frank Mittelbach wrote:
> Even here on the list I noted that several people (which I presume to  to be
> debian-legal regulars) used "public domain" in different senses.

There is only one sense.

>  > Someday, Professor Knuth should be contacted and asked to remove the
>  > statement "I have put these systems into the public domain" because it
>  > is clearly not true.
> 
> I think that would be a very good idea.
> 
> well, the "individual files" Claire is referring to are files like cmr10.mf
> which states
> 
> % THIS IS THE OFFICIAL COMPUTER MODERN SOURCE FILE cmr10.mf BY D E KNUTH.
> % IT MUST NOT BE MODIFIED IN ANY WAY UNLESS THE FILE NAME IS CHANGED!
> 
> I too think that the TeX system doesn't violate the DSFG but it does come back
> to accepting that it is not a violation of DSFG to require that individual
> files of a work can only be distributed in changed form when their filenames
> are changed.

Nice try, but the contention is that Knuth's licensing elsewhere
supersedes the terms expressed within the file itself.  Have you never
heard of dual-licensing?

If you disagree, or if this understanding is not clear and unambiguous
-- if the copyright license files that Knuth wrote cannot clearly be
interpreted to apply to each and every file in TeX, METAFONT, and
(Continue reading)

Boris Veytsman | 5 Aug 17:04 2002
Picon

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

> Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 01:54:02 -0500
> From: Branden Robinson <branden <at> debian.org>

> 
> These statements are in tension.  If Professor Knuth asserts the latter,
> he logically *cannot* be asserting the former.
> 
> Knuth is asserting his copyright to impose the restrictions described
> above; therefore TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern are not in the
> public domain.
> 
> Even, I'm afraid, if Professor Knuth says they are.
> 

I cannot claim to understand *all* intricacies of Don's great brain,
but I always understood his intentions with respect to TeX and friends
in the following way:

1. As a true CS professor, Knuth distinguishes between the program
   (i.e. the code of the program) and the name of the program (file
   name of the code for systems with file naming conventions).

2. The code is in the public domain. Anybody can do anything with it.

3. The associated set of names is *not*. 

I share this inderstanding with the developers of derivatives of
Knuth's work like pdfTeX, EC fonts etc: they freely used fragments of
Don's code but changed the names. Since their work is endorsed by
Knuth (he sent a nice letter to Han The Thanh's thesis committee, for
(Continue reading)

Julian Gilbey | 5 Aug 17:53 2002
Picon

Bug#153257: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)

On Mon, Aug 05, 2002 at 09:33:37AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> I repeat: the file renaming requirement is not DFSG-free, and you
> wanting it to be so will not make it so.  DFSG 4 does not permit it.

  4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

     The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
     modified form _only if the license allows the distribution of
     "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying
     the program at build time.  The license must explicitly permit
     distribution of software built from modified source code.
     *** The license may require derived works to carry a different
     name or version number from the original software. ***
     (This is a compromise. The Debian group encourages all authors to
     not restrict any files, source or binary, from being modified.)

Note the ***...*** section.

   Julian

-- 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

      Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
              website: http://www.maths.qmul.ac.uk/~jdg/
   Debian GNU/Linux Developer, see: http://people.debian.org/~jdg/
     Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/ to help feed the hungry

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(Continue reading)

Oleg Viro | 7 Aug 15:16 2002
Picon
Picon

tetex-bin bug#139104

I managed to fix the bug by downgrading gs to gs-aladdin_6.50-5
An idea to do this came from the bug report 
http://www.ghostscript.com/pipermail/bug-gs/2002-February/001047.html
called The security updates in 7.04 lockout xdvi.
to make the downgrade I had to remove gs-common.

I would very appreciate a more civilized fix. 

-- 
Oleg Viro                     E-mail:           oleg <at> math.uu.se
Uppsala universitet           Office  phone:    +46 18 471 3213
Matematiska institutionen     Mobile phone:     +46 070 425 0711
Box 480                       URL: http://www.math.uu.se/~oleg
751 06 UPPSALA, Sweden

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Julian Gilbey | 7 Aug 15:39 2002
Picon

Bug#122783: texdoc: use gv if ghostview is not around

Similarly for the other viewers (pdf and html).

   Julian

-- 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

      Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
              website: http://www.maths.qmul.ac.uk/~jdg/
   Debian GNU/Linux Developer, see: http://people.debian.org/~jdg/
     Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/ to help feed the hungry

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Gmane