Appologising in advance for profound ignorance

here is my problem. My 86 year old Dad has created a beautiful, free academic website, www.earlymoderntexts.com. He created all the text files in Latex, and converted to PDF. I need to amend/update the copyright line on all the files, probably about 1,000 files. I can hire someone to do that but my Dad thinks this is problematic because the person won't have "HIS" version of Latex with all the specialized Latex files he uses.


Does this make sense? Is there an easy work-around, so a 3rd party can make LaTex do the same things it does in my Dad's version?

Apologies for ignorance.

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    Run an sed script or something? This question has nothing to do with LaTeX i think. – Johannes_B Sep 18 '17 at 17:27
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    Just to update the files introducing a new copyright notice one doesn't need to actually run LaTeX and therefore doesn't need the packages created by your Dad. – Skillmon Sep 18 '17 at 17:28
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    Compliments to your dad! – CarLaTeX Sep 18 '17 at 17:30
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    I just looked at the site. These are all old texts that are out of copyright - that is exactly why your dad could republish them. His copyright notices are spurious and shouldn't be "updated" but rather removed. See nyulawreview.org/sites/default/files/pdf/… – Michael Palmer Sep 18 '17 at 17:37
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    @MichaelPalmer "These are all old texts that are out of copyright" - that does not seem to be the case. The original texts have been "translated into modern English" and as such (under UK copyright law since they appear to be associated with Oxford university) your grandfather will certainly hold copyright of the translation, unless he has assigned it to someone else or given it away for free. See the FAQ on the site for more details. – alephzero Sep 18 '17 at 18:46

There seem to be some misunderstandings here. I would guess the situation is that your grandfather is an expert in early modern texts on philosophy, but not on how LaTeX works, even though he has used it a lot!

If he wants to allow someone else to re-compile the text direct from LaTeX, all he needs to do is provide a copy of all "his special version" files as well as the source of the actual text. So far as LaTeX is concerned, those "special files" are just more input. If he has actually modified the LaTeX program by changing the C source code of the program(s) and recompiling them (very unlikely, put theoretically possible!) that doesn't apply, of course.

If this had been done in a well-structured manner, there might only be one (very short) file containing the copyright text for all the books in any case - in which case the modification is trivial. There are also ways to automate re-generating 1,000 documents without typing almost the same command 1,000 times, of course - but those are not specific to LaTeX, and if he created the documents one by one over a number of years, he might never have felt the need to explore those.

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