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Re: [Pkg-fonts-devel] STIX Fonts Beta Test Version Ready for Download

On Thu, 1 Nov 2007 09:34:28 +0000 John Halton wrote:

> On 01/11/2007, Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> wrote:
> > On 11/1/07, STIX Fonts Project Group <betatest@stixfonts.org> wrote:
> > Here are the licence terms from the download page. It seems to be OK
> > for non-free. Clause 4 seems like it isn't a full modification
> > clause, Any thoughts on it?
> I'm no expert on how fonts work, but clause 4 doesn't seem to be a
> million miles away from the "integrity of source code" clause in the
> DFSG, in allowing modifications/additions "on top of" an unaltered
> original version.

I don't think it's so far away from what is permitted by the DFSG#4, but
IMHO it's not so close, either.
Actually, I think clause 4 of the license fails to meet the DFSG.

Clause 4 states:

|    4. You may also (a) add glyphs or characters to the Fonts, or
| modify the shape of existing glyphs, so long as the base set of glyphs
| is not removed and (b) delete glyphs or characters from the Fonts,
| provided that the resulting font set is distributed with the following
| disclaimer: "This [name] font does not include all the Unicode points
| covered in the STIX Fonts-TM set but may include others." In each
| case, the name used to denote the resulting font set shall not include
| the term "STIX" or any similar term.

while DFSG#4 states:

|   4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
|      The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
|      modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of
|      "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying
|      the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit
|      distribution of software built from modified source code. The
|      license may require derived works to carry a different name or
|      version number from the original software. (This is a compromise.
|      The Debian group encourages all authors not to restrict any
|      files, source or binary, from being modified.)

It seems to me that the license does not allow modifications to the base
set of glyphs (not even through patch files for the source code, with
the explicit permission to distribute what is built from modified source
IMHO, this goes beyond what is permitted (as a compromise!) by DFSG#4.

Moreover, the license forbids naming the resulting (modified) font with
a string *including* the term "STIX" or *any similar term*.
This restriction forbids an infinite class of names: any of the infinite
set of names including any of the infinite set of terms similar to
"STIX" ("STIX" itself or "STEEX" or "STYX" or "STICS" or "SHTIX" or
"SSTIX" or "STHIX" or "SCHTIX" ...).
Again, IMHO, this goes beyond what is permitted (as a compromise!) by

[drafting ambiguity]
> Indeed, assuming that the licensor confirms this, is there any reason
> why the licence doesn't qualify as free under the DFSG?

I think the above-mentioned reasons are enough to conclude that the
license fails to make the fonts comply with the DFSG.

> John
> (IAAL, but TINLA)


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