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Re: Bug#182402: ttf-freefont is violating the GNU GPL

peter@hawkins.emu.id.au (Peter Hawkins) wrote:
> Hi...
> On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 01:17:00AM -0500, Simon Law wrote:
> > Package: ttf-freefont
> > Version: 20021016-2
> > Severity: serious
> > 
> > The package ttf-freefont is licensed under the GNU General Public
> > License, as listed in the appended debian/copyright file.  I can confirm
> > this from http://savannah.nongnu.org/download/freefont/COPYING .
> > 
> > 	Since ttf-freefont _does_ _not_ include the complete
> > corresponding machine-readable source code,
> Yes it does. It includes complete machine readable source code of the
> fonts in a particular format (ie. TTF). Since TTF files are effectively
> like images (albeit in a very specialised format), you can modify and
> improve them with the appropriate tools. True, there are other formats
> you could provide the fonts in, but I would argue that TTF fulfils all
> the requirements of source code based distribution.

The GPL requires that you provide whatever is the "preferred form of
the work for making modifications to it".  If the preferred form for
modifying these fonts is TTF, then TTF is fine.  If it is SFD, then
Debian has to distribute that as well.

> In fact, if you pay close attention to the file dates in the upstream
> archive, it appears freefont-ttf-20020306.tar.gz is the newest release
> for the TTF files, and freefont-sfd.tar.gz (dated 2003/02/19) is the
> newest release of the SFD files. Even upstream doesn't seem to release
> SFD files quite as often as TTF files.

If upstream doesn't distribute the "source", then Debian can't
distribute the "binary".

Walter Landry

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