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Re: [Pkg-fonts-devel] Bug#625737: ITP: fonts-ricty -- High quality japanse fonts based on Inconsolata and Migu 1M

On 06/05/11 07:02, Christian PERRIER wrote:
> Quoting Christian PERRIER (bubulle@debian.org):
>> Quoting Youhei SASAKI (uwabami@gfd-dennou.org):
>>> Package: wnpp
>>> Owner: Youhei SASAKI <uwabami@gfd-dennou.org>
>>> Severity: wishlist
>>> * Package name    : fonts-ricty
>>>   Version         : 2.0.2
>>>   Upstream Author : Yasunori Yusa
>>> * URL or Web page : http://save.sys.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~yusa/fonts/ricty.html
>>> * License         : SIL Open Font License Ver.1.1 and M+ FONTS LICENSE and IPA Font License Agreement v1.0
>>>   Description     : High quality japanse fonts based on Inconsolata and Migu 1M
>> Hello Sasaki-san,
>> Isn't this more or less obsoleting inconsolata?
>> inconsolata being team-maintained by pkg-fonts, maybe could you join
>> the team so that we can easily handle this?
> Sorry, while the above mail came out, you sent an RFS request to the
> pkg-fonts team mailing list.
> Still, I am not sure whether this font package is maintained in the
> team's SVN and if you're formally a team member (with commit rights on
> Alioth, etc).

Hi everyone,

It seems there are a number of issues with this ITP:

This looks like a branch of Inconsolata. There are other derivative
works out there like for example:

Regardless of the quality, coverage or legal soundness of these
derivatives, they do not obsolete the main original version (tip) which
is still being improved with hinting and display regression fixes for
example. (with hopefully a new official release soon). They may be
branches which get merged back into trunk (tip) or branches that end up
becoming more useful that the original separately but they don't replace
the original.

AFAICT this derivative called ricty is really a merge of 4 different
fonts under different licenses. And not a disjunct of the various licenses.

The project-specific and organisation-specific M+ license is really a
BSD-like (BTW it is missing a translation for non-Japanese speakers in
the source tree). Why not advocate for use of an already established
permissive non-copyleft attribution-only license like BSD / MIT instead?
 This would reduce licensing proliferation and allow increased
cross-pollination with compatible projects.

I don't know if this is intentional or not but the copyleft aspects of
two of the three licensing models have been ignored here:
this merge breaches section 5 of the OFL.
And also breaches the IPA Font Licensing agreement article 3, 1. 3)
(not that the IPA font license is particularly readable... but still).

This goes against the author's original wishes in picking these licenses
for their creation.

You can't merge works coming from two different copyleft licenses
together in any meaningful way...  How can you satisfy the requirements
of these licenses together and keep the project developing in a sane
way? This will be very very confusing for designers wanting to build
upon this work, not to mention users if Debian lets it go into main.
(generally dual-licensing of fonts is a bit of a headache as well and
not exactly recommended).

This needs to be sorted.
Joining the team like Christian suggested sounds like a good way to help
do that and take advantage of the collective skill of pkg-fonts.

I would respectfully suggest contacting the authors of these fonts to
get them to consider licensing compatibility issues and maybe sending
their patches upstream for inclusion in the mainline of Inconsolata.

Or maybe there are other sets of glyphs from another font that offers
the same coverage and quality in a more compatible way for appropriate

I freely admit that my knowledge of Japanese is sadly close to zero (I
can barely write my own first name) but I'm confident Hideki-san or
other Japanese speakers in our team can provide further help with these
issues and upstream advocacy if they wish. Looking at all the work in
our repository, Hideki-san surely has been quite successful (!)
interacting with Japanese designers to get fonts released under licenses
Debian users can safely use.


Nicolas Spalinger,
SIL NRSI volunteer - http://scripts.sil.org
Debian fonts task force -  http://pkg-fonts.alioth.debian.org
Open font community - http://planet.open-fonts.org

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