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Re: TeXGyre fonts licensing concern


I'm afraid these answers are utterly unconvincing. I've just checked
Debian made the very same analysis as us, and you're on your way to get
yourself blacklisted in all major Linux distributions.


In case that's not clear enough, you have a problem.

On Sat, 2008-07-26 at 12:48 +0200, Hans Hagen wrote:
> Jonathan Underwood wrote:
> > Dear Hans,
> > 
> > Some legal concerns have arisen regarding the licensing of the TeX
> > Gyre fonts - please see
> > https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=456580. In particular,
> > this part is most relevant:
> > 
> > 2. The textlive-texfm includes tex-gyre fonts. As the authors freely
> > admit they lifted the GNU Ghostscript GPL fonts, changed their format,
> > modified the result,
> > and relicensed it all under their own license [1]. They don't list any
> > authorization for this from the previous rights holders in their
> > package. Since we can not ship the GPL bits they lifted under another
> > license, and we can not ship the bits they added under the GPL without
> > tex-gyre people authorization, the whole thing is un-distributable and
> > must be removed [2]
> > 
> > [1] page 8 of http://www.gust.org.pl/projects/e-foundry/tex-gyre/afp05.pdf
> > [2] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-fonts-list/2008-July/msg00111.html
> > 
> > I wonder if you would take a few moments to look at this and comment
> > on the correctness of the analysis and help to resolve these issues? I
> > am sure you'd agree with me that resolving this is important for the
> > TeX Gyre project, and free software fonts in general.
> > 
> > Finally, in case it's not clear, I'd just like to point out that I am
> > *not* contacting you in my capacity as chair of the UKTUG funding
> > sub-committee in this instance, but as a member of UKTUG, and also a
> > Fedora contributor. Nonetheless, as a UKTUG member I would not be
> > happy to think that UKTUG is financially supporting a project which is
> > in violation of the GPL, if that is indeed the case.
> a short reply (i have to catch up many mails after the tug conference)
> - the gust font licence is mostly the lppl licence which is accepted as ok

Irrelevant. We are not complaining about the Gust font license we are
complaining about re-licensing without previuous authors authorization.

> - the main 'additions' concern packaging (file names, internal font 
> names, etc. since any simple replacement/extension can mess up doc 
> production and could put a stress on user group support), which is an 
> important issue for tex distributions

That's still a lot of work. We respect licensing regardless of the size
of the contribution

> - gpl is targeted at programs and fonts are not exactly programs

Given the number of fonts we ship under GPL, LGPL or derived licenses
(including Liberation), this argument is not receivable. "I don't like
this license I'll just use another and no one's the wiser" — you're not

> - we try to contact e.g. urw on some other issues (it's currently not 
> even clear of some of the fonts were ever legally gpl'd!) but they don't 
> react (such a kind of 'disappearing responsibility' happened before with 
> some other font where eventually responsibility was transfered to tug)

You can not work just with URW. The right contacts are Artifex and all
the people who contributed to the fonts since their release.

> - some of the 'original' fonts contain additions of rather poor quality 
> (greek and cyrillic) and when/how they ended up in there withoput any 
> quality assurance is unclear, so in general one can say that these fonts 
> have a somewhat fuzzy history

Quality as nothing to do with licensing. You can make bad contributions
under a good license, and good contributions under a bad license. We can
ship the first but not the other.

> we're currently convinced that eveything is ok with respect to the 
> licence (btw, the amount of changes to the fonts are pretty large so one 
> might as well wonder if we're dealing with new digitizations)

Again, this is the kind of fuzzy logic that can not stand legaly.

> Jerzy might have a more detailed answer since he's in charge of the 
> licencing

Nicolas Mailhot

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