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Re: Xfstt and Sampo Kaasila's patents

On Sun, Jul 25, 1999 at 08:33:55PM -0700, L. Peter Deutsch wrote:
> Hello,
> You are listed in the xfstt CHANGES file as the maintainer.
> Are you aware that the TrueType hinting algorithms are patented?
> What, if anything, do you plan to do about this situation in Xfstt?
> (FreeType has the same problem, BTW.)
> I would really like to have a good TT rasterizer to distribute with
> Ghostscript, but the patent issue seems like a killer.

I would really like to say "Fuck them" as I am morally oposed to Software
patents. However I realize that this is not a viable standpoitn and one which
could very well lead to future legal trouble. So I will not say that
(even if I am thinking it very strongly)

This is the first that this has been brought to my attention. I supose at
this point, I should begin looking into this problem in some fashion. Not 
because I as a private indiviual am worried, I have not been served with any 
formal notice or whatnot from the patent holder (who is the patent holder
btw?) but I am Debian Maintainer and that might mean having to pull the 

Until I have looked into this further I plan to continue as normal.
I will contact the FreeType people and see what they know of this. I 
may also ask on Debian-Legal. 

I don't plan to take any action until I am convinced that xfstt violates the
patent. At which point I will have it pulled from Debian and Sunsite
(and hope that people continue to use it and secretly distribute it
even without my help or encouragment)

I will then contact the patent holder and inform them of the situation and
ask if there is any possibility of them allowing the distribution
of xfstt as it is Free Software and not a comercial effort. (I may
also see if there is any way that I can make it work without violating
the patent)

I thank you for informing me of this, and I hope that this turns out to be a 
false alarm or at worst a fixable situation. Who knows...maybe there could
even be found some prior art which will invalidate the patent? We can
always hope.

Do you know the number of the patent offhand? Do you know who holds the

I am forwarding this email to involved parties to see what they have to say.
Again I thank you for this information and hope that xfstt and other free
TTF renderers end up "lucking out" of this.

note to debian-legal: 
I am not subscribed please cc' me in all replies but not any of the
other people I have sent this too. (unless they indicate further interest)


/* -- Stephen Carpenter <sjc@delphi.com> --- <sjc@debian.org>------------ */
"Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to
 control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things
 that are not crimes."
                -- Abraham Lincoln 

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