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Freetype patent issues

Hey debian-legal,

Interested in improving font-AAing in Debian, I've taken a look at some of the
patches in Debian for the freetype package. Now patents have hinderd true AA
using freetype in Debian in the past (> 2 years ago), but since the freetype
2.0 series this shouldn't be a problem anymore [1].

In the current freetype package, the bytecode interpreter is _enabled_ using a
patch (030-bytecode-interpreter.diff), I suspect this patch still remains from
the 1.0 freetype series, when this and other patches were used to supply an
unpatented bytecode interpreter. According to the freetype site, this would now
cause freetype to fall under the patents granted to Apple, just like the 1.0
series. Disabling this patch would make freetype in debian patent-free again
(from my point of view), while drasticly improving AA fonts in Debian (and
derivatives alike). A bug [2] has already been submitted to do this some time

Then why this email? I'd like to be sure that I'm right on this subject. The
last discussion about freetype seems to be a few years old, so it might be best
to get some more informed people look at this issue again and correct me if I'm
wrong :)


Alex de Landgraaf

PS. please CC me when replying, I'm not on this list

[1] http://www.freetype.org/patents.html
[2] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=216667

| Alex de Landgraaf            | The cure for boredom is curiosity |
| Student AI & CS, VU, A'dam   |  There is no cure for curiosity   |
| Phone: 06-16844084           |                                   |
| GPG: http://am.xs4all.nl/key_alex.asc         /'-'\              |
| www.alextreme.org & www.morphix.org          ( o o )             |

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