I hope this question is on-topic.
It is a long story, but more and more these days I run into people who doesn't understand what LaTeX is. In particular people I talk to think that LaTeX is a company and so they don't quite understand that LaTeX isn't a product that you can buy and that (always) comes with a support option. I am fairly decent at actually using LaTeX, but I don't know much (anything) about who exactly is behind LaTeX. I get that various groups are behind various "distributions" (like
I am looking for a short (maybe more medium length) description of who is behind
LaTeX. Is there an organization that "owns" LaTeX and maintains some type of kernel? What status is this organization legally? What is the differences between the types (distributions?) of LaTeX and the kernel? Can LaTeX be compared to Linux? What licenses are LaTeX given under?
(I am in the USA and people who question me about LaTeX usually view everything from an American perspective. I am only saying this in case this is relevant.)
I know this is a big question, so I would be happy to have a reference.