1 (edited by koszko 2019-12-14 10:36:48)

Topic: I emailed miktex dev

Some months ago I noticed that several parts of tex were removed in Hyperbola. The interesting thing is that in CTAN they're marked as public domain, but the readme attached to the source code states usage and distribution conditions that qualify those tex packages as nonfree. I wanted to email the authors, but couldn't find contact infromation. I also couldn't find contact detail for some1 responsible for CTAN on CTAN webpage. But I noticed this package is also present in miktex (it seems miktex is using CTAN just as texlive does... Idk how exactly it works - You can try explaining this to me if You want). So, I emailed the miktex dev, Christian Schenk, asking him about the license of one package. And now the package gets removed from miktex tongue

On 12/13/2019 3:57 PM, Wojtek Kosior wrote:
> The licensing of package https://miktex.org/packages/mex is unclear to me.
> It is marked as 'pd', but it seems to be actually using a different (nonfree) license (which, by the way, uses term "public domain" with a different meaning).
> What is the actual license of this package?
> Regards,
> Wojciech Kosior

It seems that is package is non-free:

   "there is no charge for distribution"

I will remove the package from the distribution.

Thank you,

Btw, those nonfree pieces are stopping me from adopting latex... because I'm not able to typeset polish. There is tex package 'polski', which is free/libre and should do the job, but it tries to use some stuff from those nonfree packages (from it's documentation it seems it should be able to work without those - I just don't know how to configure that).

Anyways, toast to anyone who first noticed the problem with tex packages! (idk whether this was a Hyperbola dev, Parabola dev or some1 else)

EDIT: I just found the email to one of the authors of those nonfree packages when reading the README of another pcakage big_smile


Re: I emailed miktex dev

I got no response from the authors (maybe the email address I found is an old one), but I got response on general tex mailing list.

My mail:

The following packages:


are misleadingly marked on CTAN as either being in public domain or being available under the Knuth License. Those packages do, however, use a custom, nonfree license (mex105/mexinfo/mexinfo.eng in the mex package).

>From https://www.tug.org/texlive/copying.html and https://www.ctan.org/pkg/texlive I understand, that such nonfree packages are not supposed to belong to the distribution and were included by mistake (hence I intend this mail to be, to some extent, a bug report).

I found about the nonfree parts in texlive in https://git.hyperbola.info:50100/packag … e/PKGBUILD - this PKGBUILD also treats some other packages as nonfree, which might help track them.

The response:

are misleadingly marked on CTAN

I would not say it's misleading. I'd say it's as intended, but
that the freeness bug was previously incompletely fixed.

    a custom, nonfree license (mex105/mexinfo/mexinfo.eng in the mex package).

Thanks for the report. To the best of my recollection, the intent is for
the "public domain" statement in the 00readme to take precedence over
the crazy license files; that's why the date in 00readme is later
(2003), as that is when Staszek and I (I think) tried to do something
about the non-free-ness.

Anyway, I certainly agree the situation is not made clear. I will write
the package maintainers. --best, karl.

Seems likely that the packages are going to be fully free soon. Well, it's good to talk smile


Re: I emailed miktex dev

My another mail:

Any changes/responses on the matter?

From what I see, the files contents on CTAN  (https://ctan.org/texarchive/language/polish) haven't changed. Can we be 100% sure about the precedence of the public domain statement?

Some confirmation could also help others who also got confused (Hyperbola, MikTex).

Wojtek Kosior

Another response:

>  Any changes/responses on the matter?

I am waiting for Jacko (Boguslaw Jackowski, who "owns" all those files
as far as CTAN goes) to give me permission to remove the problematic
nonfree stuff. I've asked him a couple times, but he's having personal
issues (not virus related) at the moment so I don't want to be too much
of a pest. It remains on my list and I am confident it will get updated
at some point.

> Can we be 100% sure about the precedence of the public domain statement?

Yes. --karl