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Re: [Pkg-fonts-devel] Open Font License 1.1 Released

Nicolas Spalinger <nicolas_spalinger@sil.org> wrote:
> MJ Ray wrote:
> > As explained repeatedly, users should not have to configure font
> > substitution for every new font
> Mmm, What?
> The configuration of external font substitution systems like
> fontconfig are outside the scope of the license.
> See the updated FAQ entry 2.8

which includes the claim:
> [...] Font substitution systems like fontconfig, or application-level
> font fallback configuration within OpenOffice.org or Scribus, will
> also get very confused if the name of the font they are configured to
> substitute to actually refers to another physical font on the user's
> hard drive. It will help everyone if Original Versions and Modified
> Versions can easily be distinguished from one another and from other
> derivatives. The substitution mechanism itself is outside the scope of the
> license. Users can always manually change a font reference in a document
> or set up some kind of substitution at a higher level but at the lower
> level the fonts themselves have to respect the Reserved Font Name(s)
> requirement to prevent ambiguity. [...]

which seems to confirm that users have to configure their own font
substitutions for every damned font!

This isn't a freedom question: it's an ease-of-use question, so can
we take this part off debian-legal if continued, please?

> Since when is a diff.gz understood as a derivative?

Isn't it obviously derived?  Please explain how you would create a diff.gz
for a font without knowing the expressions used in the orig.tar.gz.

> [...] Ever wondered why we had so few free/open fonts until there was a
> good way to reach out to the font designer community with something
> which makes sense to them?

Yes.  I felt it was mostly an education problem, not a case of there being
anything wrong with GPL and MIT/Expat styles for fonts.

> I'll remind you of the current Debian policy which already has something
> about not creating namespace chaos:
> http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-customized-programs.html#s11.8.5
> "Font packages must not provide alias names for the fonts they include
> which collide with alias names already in use by fonts already packaged.
> [...]"

That looks like it comes from a time before defoma, fontconfig and
weighted substitution.  When is it from?  Should it be updated?

> Even the classic 'knuthian' TeX license and its children have similar
> requirements.

Please take a look at the latest LPPL as a better licence.

> Please understand that this requirement makes sense.

I don't agree and asking nicely isn't enough to change that.  Sorry.

> As you know the OFL has been presented at AtypI and we have received
> constructive feedback from the design community.
> Seriously, do you really think we'd add such a clause if it wasn't needed?

Sorry, but I think you might (it is OFL's USP, after all) and I think the
consultation results would have been published long ago if it they
justified the continued inclusion.

> As for the removal, have you read Victor Gaultney's answer on this?
> To quote him on OFL-discuss:
> "I do understand your point, and even agree that trademark should be
> enough. But in practice it's not. RFN is a critical feature of the OFL,
> and does not stop designers from declaring their trademarks in addition
> to protecting the name through RFN. So people can fully use both."

Yes and seeing it as a 'critical feature' is why it won't happen until
after some font designers get burnt by it.  Hopefully that will never
happen, but the door is open.

> Well, I'd say your goals of contacting the FSF behind our backs to get a
> license-list removal isn't terribly helpful.

Erm, I questioned FSF on their interpretation and I mentioned that in a few
places in public.  Sorry if you missed it, but it wasn't getting a removal
(I don't hold any power over FSF), wasn't behind anyone's back and wasn't a
goal itself.  The goal is more free software, silly.
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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