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Re: Preparation of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2 (II)

At Sun, 23 Nov 2003 09:58:09 -0500,
Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
> GOTO Masanori <gotom@debian.or.jp> writes:
> > At Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:01:39 -0500,
> > Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
> >> I'm confused -- and don't read Japanese.  But let me get one thing
> >> straight: what Hitachi distributed were strictly bitmap fonts, right?
> >> No metafont, truetype, or postscript font outlines, just bitmaps?
> >
> > Well, it's complicated issue.  It's no wonder some readers are
> > confused.
> >
> >> Alternately, let me ask three simple questions:
> >> 
> >> 1. Were the hitachi fonts bitmaps?
> >
> > Yes.
> Then Hitachi has no copyright on the fonts -- at least not in the US,
> though Japanese law may be different.  Because bitmaps are the only
> possible representation of the font at that resolution, there's no
> creativity, and thus no copyright.

Well, I may need to explain the background of this difference.

Japanese Industry Standard (JIS) defines standard Japanese character
code points.  JISX0208:1990 defines 6,879 code points, JISX0212:1990
defines 12,946, and JISX0213:2000 defines 11,223 (Mainly we use
JISX0208:1983/1990).  On the other hand, the maximum number of
ISO-8859-1 character can define up to only 256.

Moreover, Kanji characters have complicated form.  They consist of
usually from 1 to 30 lines/curves (example: 30 lines/curves: 鸞).  For
fun, it seems more complicated characters[1] (almost all Japanese
don't know such weird characters, though).  On the other hand,
alphabet consists of a few lines/curves.

So it's hard to make Japanese characters which have beautiful shape
and unified baseline because each form is complex, and there are a lot
of such complicated characters.  This is because we don't decide
easily that Japanese fonts are no creativity in even 32 dot bitmap
resolution.  They are just art.

Moreover, it's hard to make even 8 dot (elisa 8 dot) or 10 dot
(xfonts-naga10) Japanese bitmap fonts, because such size is too small
to distinguish the difference of each characters (imagine filling 30
lines/curves in 10x10 bitmaps!).  In such case, font creaters use
their brain and some techniques to chop off lines/curves.

So, in any resolutions, it's not easy to say there is no creativity in
Kanji/Hanji fonts.

[1] http://www.akatsukinishisu.net/kanji/mottomo.html

-- gotom

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