The TeX Catalogue License Definitions
Nearly any software is distributed under some kind of license. The CTAN Team tries it's best to list the package under the correct license. Nevertheless you should consult the package documentation for the precise formulations.
Here we list the licenses used by TeX-related software as recorded in The TeX Catalogue (created by Graham Williams and maintained by the CTAN team). General information about categories of licenses is available from the GNU project.
The license conditions are not designed to restrict what may be submitted to CTAN. Rather, the license information should make life easier for redistributors of TeX and related software: in general, software under one of the non-free license terms listed below should not be included in a distribution. Most material on the archive may be used without further ado; the only exceptions are nocommercial software, (whose use in a commercial environment is forbidden), and some (but not all) shareware.
The CTAN team tries to ensure that the license information in the Catalogue is accurate, and maintains it with input from authors and others, but the sheer size of the Catalogue makes it difficult to maintain a watching brief on all licenses. Thus, while the team believes that the data presented are mostly correct, we advise careful checking if license information is to be used in “legally delicate” situations.
Free software satisfies the criteria contained in the Debian Free Software Guidelines which provides the basis of the Open Source Free Software Guidelines. This software may be freely used, modified (hence source must be available), and distributed (e.g. on distributions like TeXLive and MikTeX). It is generally copyrighted to legally protect it. Users are usually given an explicit license to copy, distribute, and/or modify the software. Authors of free software may invite users to make monetary donations if they wish, but can not oblige them to do so, or else the software becomes nonfree. Free software may rely on nonfree software for extra functionality, but provides useful functionality without that nonfree software. Further information on free software is available from GNU.
While one category would be sufficient (just “free”) we identify licenses, important for (La)TeX users, that satisfy common notions of free software:
- Apache License, version 2.0
- Perl Artistic License, version 2
- BSD Style License
- Free Documentation License
- The GUST Font License (GFL)
- The GUST Font Source License (GFSL)
- GNU General Public License, version 2
- GNU General Public License, version 3
- GNU General Public License
- Knuth License
- GNU Library General Public License
- The LaTeX Project Public License
- The SIL Open Font License
- Open Publication License
- Public Domain Software
- Free license not otherwise listed, or more than one free license applies
- GNU Library General Public License 2.1
- The LaTeX Project Public License 1
- The LaTeX Project Public License 1.2
- The LaTeX Project Public License 1.3