I'm writing some PDF for a commercial company. I use XeLaTeX to produce the PDF. Currently they ask me to change to MS Word because they have buy the licence. Does the LaTeX have commercial limitations on the produced PDF? Or is there any licence required to use LaTeX?

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a legal question. – cfr Dec 18 '14 at 4:29
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    but with the same token, if an answer is provided by someone, who is not a lawyer, why would that someone, whoever,here or elsewhere, be held liable for his answer? even from a legal standpoint, an answer would not affect a license, – doed Dec 18 '14 at 4:46
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    what i mean to say is that with that kind of mentality, whether copyleft or copyright, in software licenses, undermines the purpose, the objective of the license itself. – doed Dec 18 '14 at 4:49
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    As noted by others, legal questions are almost always off-topic as they need expertise we can't claim to have and are potentially dependent on where in the world you are. All that said many people use LaTeX for commercial work, though as noted each package may have restrictions. – Joseph Wright Dec 18 '14 at 7:00
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    Also note that LaTeX (and therefore TeX) is made available as part of commercial typesetting systems, most obviously things like BaKoMa but over the years in many other systems. Whilst that doesn't prove that it can't be legally challenged, it is at worth noting that it never to my knowledge has been. – Joseph Wright Dec 18 '14 at 7:04

(La)TeX is free to use, but with some restrictions (not copylefted is probably meaningless in your case). You can see the licence for example here: http://www.latex-project.org/lppl.txt. Information about licence of XeLaTeX you can find even here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License (I know: Wikipedia is not a perfect source).

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  • 'Free to use' is somewhat misleading. The current LPPL is a 'free' licence according to the FSF, as I understand it. But the issues here are complex as 'LaTeX' may also mean the packages and they are under a variety of licences. Moreover, we don't know which distribution or editor the OP is using and those too may affect the legal situation. We are really not in a position to answer this kind of question. (Even if you are a lawyer, you are not here with your lawyer's hat on. But I don't think a lawyer would try to answer this kind of question here.) – cfr Dec 18 '14 at 4:32
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    @cfr As far as I understand, OP asks "is there any licence required to use LaTeX". But there are (small) copyright limitations, as we can read in LPPL, so it is not commercial free, as the title (not the body) of question may suggest.. – Przemysław Scherwentke Dec 18 '14 at 4:40
  • @PrzemysławScherwentke Not sure what restrictions you mean here in terms of use, beyond the fact that copyright exists not by adding a license but follows automatically from creating something (at least in most places: as we know, legal stuff is dependent on where you are!). – Joseph Wright Dec 18 '14 at 7:01
  • @JosephWright Oh, my poor English! I had in mind only small warning, that it is not completely free, but free in normal usage. But an advice "freely use, but not overuse" seems to be a good starting point. And may prevent OP from using MS Word. :-) – Przemysław Scherwentke Dec 18 '14 at 20:35

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