As I'm getting more and more interested in releasing packages of my own in the future, I just read the LaTeX Project Public License (or LPPL). This document defines, among other things, the rules for

  • modifying (TeX-related) Work by another author and distributing the Derived Work under the LPPL,
  • transfer of maintenance duties to another author,
  • etc.

My intention here is not to stir controversy (to remain polite) or open old wounds, but I'm curious. I know there can be tensions between authors. For instance, the developers of Texmaker and TeXstudio (formerly known as TeXmakerX) don't seem to be on very good terms (see the bottom of this page).

My question, however, is specific to the LPPL.

Has there ever been high-profile public (legal, even) battles between authors of TeX-related work that arose due to non-compliance with the LPPL by one or several parties?

Those cases, if any, might serve as cautionary tales for aspiring authors.

Edit: I've chosen to remove my allegations of tension between Knuth and Lamport over the development of LaTeX, at least until I find a proper source.

  • What I know is that Lamport thanked Knuth for great help during development of LaTeX.
    – egreg
    Nov 22, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    The comment you seem to be referring to (or at least one very similar to that) can be found at the TUG 2010 panel. I don't see any animosity in Knuth's response to the question about Lamport's work.
    – Alan Munn
    Nov 22, 2013 at 21:03
  • @AlanMunn Thanks for the link. I sense some disappointment and perhaps bitterness in Knuth's voice, but maybe that's just me.
    – jub0bs
    Nov 22, 2013 at 22:19
  • AFAIK the LPPL has never been the subject of a court or legal case. I know that there have been several cases where packages had the state "author-maintained" and the author died/vanished. Nov 23, 2013 at 17:45
  • 3
    The only controversy I know of is the controversy over the license itself, as seen here: latex-project.org/papers/tb100mittbach-lppl-history.pdf
    – bombcar
    Mar 25, 2014 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


Not that I know. The LPPL license states that work released under this license can distributed and modified with few restrictions, mainly that changes must be stated and modifed copies must be distributed to owners of the original copies, but other than that since it's an open license I do not think that cases can be taken to court. The LPPL license doesn't cover "activities other than distribution and/or modification of the Work".

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