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Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 15 Jul 2002 23:45:52 +0200
text/plain (71 lines)
Branden Robinson writes:

 > How do you propose to enforce a license that restricts people from
 > modifying files on their own systems, and distributes only among a
 > private group of individuals?

I don't have a proposition for that. but LPPL wasn't written originally (or
ever) to enforce things legally, it was written to codify what the majority of
the LATeX community understood as an important set of goals

but again, there is one major miss-statement in your sentence.  we don't
restrict people from modifying files, we only ask them to do it in a way that
is helps everybody (including them in the long run).
 > > the problem is that prior to LPPL (which is now in use for a number of years)
 > > many people were not even aware that they do something "wrong" to the community
 > > and their local users. now most of them are (at least within the LaTeX
 > > community)
 > There are more methods than just forbiddance to achieve education.

the fact that in the "free software world" but outside LaTeX the importance
of the goals aren't seen, as well as the fact that codifying those goals
improved the situation within the LaTeX community a lot makes us believe that
our approach in that particular situation is better.

 > >  > No, I do not believe this is a good
 > >  > argument for making a package unfree.
 > >
 > > it would certainly a bad reason to make a package unfree. my claim is that it
 > > isn't!
 > It appears that Debian's consensus is that forbidding the renaming of
 > files is too large a stick to achieve your goal of notification of
 > deviation from a standard.

i understand that there are a large number of people (who work with other type
of free software) that do not like the fact that we preserve some rights of
the users of LaTeX as well as giving them  the freedom to do modifications. It
is certainly (a bit) more work to rename a file rather than to simply change
it, but while I concur with you that for stuff which is essentially local to
my environment this is fine (and thus something like GPL or whatever is
appropriate) for the benefit of LaTeX as a freely extensible and changeable
system for exchange of information it is not.

 > Requirements of notification of modification in original source code and
 > in program diagnostic output are perfectly acceptable under the DFSG;
 > badging or watermarking the generated document while forbidding the
 > removal of same would not be.

sorry, you lost me. what exactly is there that would not be acceptable?

 > There may be other means of notifying the user that he's running a
 > hot-rodded component; we'd be more than happy to work with you to think
 > of some.

if you manage to do that I would have no qualms to change to different system
or license, but not if that means the user has to read through potentially
thousand of source files to find a file that makes his document work
differently on his site than on others.

 > G. Branden Robinson                |    If you make people think they're
 > Debian GNU/Linux                   |    thinking, they'll love you; but if
 > [log in to unmask]                 |    you really make them think, they'll
 > |    hate you.

not sure i can get you on your motto, let's see :-)