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At our company we would like to generate customer report using pdflatex and TexLive and send the report to the customers. We are not sure about the licencing. Are we allowed to use TexLive and pdflatex in commercial environments?

  • I don't think you have any issues there. TeXLive have already been cleaned quite thoroughly for material that does not have an appropriate license. Didn't also DB (in Germany) use pdftex in some of their autogenerated material. – daleif Dec 3 '18 at 13:15
  • maybe interesting tex.stackexchange.com/q/40720 – book Dec 3 '18 at 13:29
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    Anyway, this site can't give legal advice and legal advice is off-topic here. You should contact a legal professional, who is familiar with your jurisdiction's laws, for proper legal advice. – moewe Dec 3 '18 at 14:39
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    @daleif I disagree strongly: Whatever I write with Emacs, the license of Emacs has no importance at all for my files. – Keks Dose Dec 9 '18 at 11:51
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    @norbert good then we all agree, just hard to understand what we meant in the comments – daleif Dec 10 '18 at 5:00
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Everything in TeX Live should be free for commercial use, too. We have worked over the years together with distributors (Debian and RedHat/Fedora have provided valuable input) to check all the content and eliminate all non-free content.

Of course, with tens of thousands of files, nothing can be 100% sure, and I'm not a lawyer, but there are many companies using TeX Live in commercial surroundings.

So bottom line, yes, it is.

(Usual judicial blabla applies)

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This is an important question. What comfort do companies need to use TeX & Friends, e.g. texlive or MiKTeX.

Probably two things:

  1. Nobody comes and sues them. That's easy, because that's simply a more or less theoretical kind of risk. At least I never ever heard of copyright struggles around LaTex. A company just can decide to have a field test and then roll it out. As long as you don't leave »produced by LaTeX« in your PDF, it would even be difficult to prove the origin of the PDF. And since only copyright owners could sue and the the whole thing is costly, I guess the risk to be very, very low.
  2. The audit of the annual financial statement must not be at risk. This is more difficult. Let's assume that the auditor has no clue, reads the GPL and concludes, that every PDF were a »derivative work« in terms of the GPL and thus kind of illegal. This is something your compliance people would not like.

So maybe you, @user176026 go and ask your manager and maybe the auditor, what kind of comfort they need. Please come back and tell us!

There are TeX User Groups around the world. Maybe they can e.g. have every some years an generell audit of one or two TeX distributions and provide the result on their website. But as long as nobody asks, that won't happen.

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