This is mostly off topic, but related to LaTeX.

I have a template which contains about 40 files in different folders. And additionally some packages (.sty files) which shall be published soon.

The packages contain the typical copyright statement and LaTeX Project Public License lines. Are these also necessary in the .tex files which contain the docs or can I create a licence.txt file for the whole folder?

For the template I also wonder if I can put everything under a license with a single file. Putting 10-30 lines of license statement in each file is something I want to avoid.

  • 3
    Having a dedicated license file is a good idea. You could then add a reference to it inside every file, which reduces the copyright header to about two lines. May 17, 2012 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


At least a few years back i was told that the CTAN team does not want a dedicated license file, because of "old" licenses if the package is not updated anymore.

The LaTeX Project has a site "How to use the LPPL". Maybe that's a good start and that's what i use. ;-)

  %% pig.dtx
  %% Copyright 2005 M. Y. Name
  % This work may be distributed and/or modified under the
  % conditions of the LaTeX Project Public License, either version 1.3
  % of this license or (at your option) any later version.
  % The latest version of this license is in
  %   http://www.latex-project.org/lppl.txt
  % and version 1.3 or later is part of all distributions of LaTeX
  % version 2005/12/01 or later.
  % This work has the LPPL maintenance status `maintained'.
  % The Current Maintainer of this work is M. Y. Name.
  % This work consists of the files pig.dtx and pig.ins
  % and the derived file pig.sty.
  • That works for a sty file. In those files I have it like that. But for a complete project (with only .tex files) this does not make sense. For my template I do not think that lppl is the best licence anyway. It could as well be GPL or a BSD like licence. May 18, 2012 at 21:21

I'd put the license lines in every file which contains something more than trivial code. Hey, it is just copy and paste and you prevent that

  1. the legal situation of a file is unclear, and please consider what Debian people do with such files, and
  2. anybody else claims you code as his own.

If none of your files is non-trivial, but you assume that the collection is the value, than the license.txt might do it.

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