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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 01:12:20PM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 12:54:14PM -0400, Stephen Frost wrote:
> > * Theodore Ts'o (tytso@mit.edu) wrote:
> > > You forgot one other thing.  We'll also have to strip **ALL**
> > > **FONTS** from Debian, since fonts come in binary form, and we don't
> > > have anything approaching the "preferred form for modification" for
> > > fonts.  In particular, the Truetype Bitstream Vera fonts which were so
> > > generously donated by Vera was generated not only using propietary
> > > source files, but also using propietary non-free programs.  

> > Well, now, I'm not entirely convinced of this.  Could a similar argument
> > not be used on JPEG's or PNG's?  Do we have *some* reasonable way to
> > modify these fonts?  It's been a long time, but I did hack on some fonts
> > a long time ago and while it wasn't the most fun thing I could have
> > sworn there was a free program available to do it..

> Ah, but I could hack around firmware using a hex editor as well.  The
> question is whether or not a compressed PCF or truetype font file is
> the "preferred form for modification" --- i.e., source.  If the
> requirement is that "source" is available for all files shipped in
> main, I don't see how we can include any of our fonts in the Debian
> distribution.

Although the GPL's definition of source makes for a good measuring
stick, this is not codified in the Social Contract itself; and there is
more likely to be disagreement over "preferred" forms where non-program
sources are concerned.  Certainly, the issues with documentation
licensing that influenced this GR had nothing to do with lack of source
code, and everything to do with the available license terms for
distribution and modification.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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