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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 12:02:10 +0200
Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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From: Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi Brooks,

 > At present, I am currently working on a set of mathematics module files to
 > be used with ConTeXt; one of the modules contains about 30 lines that are
 > derived from the LaTeX lttab.dtx kernel file, though with considerable
 > changes.
 > 
 > Is section 6b intended to require, as a strict interpretation of it would 
 > seem to state, that all of the modules in my package shall require a 
 > "prominent notice detailing the nature of the changes", even though only 
 > one module contains anything derived from LaTeX code?  (I would think not, 
 > but that's what the letter of it appears to me to currently say.)

I think common sense would suggest that this is not the case and not intended
(well wouldn't intended by me who is one of the authors of LPPL). now let's
see: i think the question is what is the "Derived Work" in your case, i think
it is reasonable to interpret it only as the module that actually contains
that original code in variation. if we do this then, 11. gives you what you
want:

  11. This license places no restrictions on works that are unrelated to
  the Work, nor does this license place any restrictions on aggregating
  such works with the Work by any means.

perhaps that should say "the Work or a Derived Work" to make this clearer.


 > Meanwhile, for the 30 lines that _have_ been derived from LaTeX code -- 
 > nearly every line has been changed in some way.  I would imagine that a 
 > statement along the lines of "[This section] is based on a heavily modified 
 > version of the array implementation in lttab.dtx from the LaTeX kernel, 
 > version [whatever]" would satisfy the intent of the restriction, in that it 
 > makes it clear that none of this code shall be assumed to be 
 > unmodified.  Is this in fact sufficient to comply?  (I'm a little unsure 
 > whether the word "detailing" is intended to require a detailed
 > accounting....)

again I would say it is sufficient, but I'm sure there will be somebody
stating that the license states something different.

the problem here is that the phrasing in  6 was written to cover Derived Works
that are intended as a replacement of the original Work, eg you change
lttabs.dtx with the intention to fix bugs, say, and to be used instead of
lttabs by users.

the idea of taking the code of say a LaTeX package to turn it into a context
module or a plain tex thing was kind of overlooked.

I mean, detailing your work and the changes is still something worth doing
always :-) but is a somewhat mod point if the target is a different domain.

what was something I already noticed when looking through the recent ctt
thread, but i couldn't force myself to reply because <insert your own reason>

it may ask for a rewording at some stage, but that would need some thought.

as for 6d, I hope you realise that all you would need to do is to say that the
original is found at CTAN or something, but again that is also written with
the thought of derived works in the same domain so again this isn't really
that important either for works like the one you outlined (and thus would fall
into a similar: should be thought about category)


 > ...
 > 
 > Also, is there a standard wording for "This file is licensed under the 
 > LPPL, and parts of it are derived from file XYZ so you need to observe the 
 > LPPL file-identification restrictions with regards to that as well"?

not yet to my knowledge, but your line looks already quite good to me. what
about:

  "This file is licensed under the LPPL, and parts of it are derived from file
  XYZ so you need to observe the LPPL file-identification restrictions with
  regards to this file name".


 > What about "This file is licensed under the LPPL, except that I don't care 
 > whether you call your derived work the same thing as I'm calling this, but 
 > parts of it are derived from file XYZ so you need to observe the LPPL 
 > file-identification restrictions with regards to that"?

the statement "except that I don't care whether you call your derived work the
same thing as I'm calling this" is unnecessary if the LPPL is observed, but it
gives the wrong impression as it indicates (to my ear) that one could keep the
name without obeying anything (which would then most likely violate the LPPL)
so i think this is not a good plan

 > P.S. My apologies for sending so many nit-picky license questions to the 
 > list; I hope it's not annoying too many people!

license thoughts seem to be popular right now (see font license discussions
...) so ...

regards
frank

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