X scalable fonts not in packages

Bug #14974 reported by Rui Matos on 2005-04-04
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xorg (Ubuntu)
Daniel Stone

Bug Description


I've been a Debian user for a long time before starting to use Ubuntu last year.
As such I do understand the DFSG and am actually a big supporter of Free Software.

Having said this, I notice that the xorg packages in Ubuntu don't include some
nice fonts. I guess these packages are going to be included in Debian after
Sarge releases so this seems nice of Ubuntu developers to do the proper
packaging in advance.

Yet, on [1] it is said:

"Differences between the groups lie in their treatment of non-computer
applications (like documentation, fonts and binary firmware) and non-free software."

and on the Xorg copyright file there is:

"Debian and Ubuntu modifications to upstream sources:

  1) The Beth Mardutho Meltho OpenType fonts have a license which prohibits
     free modification of the font software:

        The Font Software may not be modified, altered, or added to, and in
        particular the designs of glyphs or characters in the Fonts may not
        be modified nor may additional glyphs or characters be added to the
        Fonts. This License becomes null and void when the Fonts or Font
        Software have been modified.

     These font files therefore do not satisfy DFSG 3 ("Derived Works")."

And so on.

Now this seems to be in contradiction. I have yet to decide for myself if
"fonts" should have all the same freedoms as "software".

Anyway, I don't know if this has been discussed internally but, for now I'm
asking for inclusion of these fonts on the Ubuntu packages as some of them are
really nice.

[1] http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/relationship/document_view

Daniel Stone (daniels) wrote :

Yes, many of these fonts have been removed (and I myself removed a few of them,
a while ago). This is intentional: I do not want to support them, and every
point of difference we have with Debian makes it that much harder to sync back
with them; a lot of the work with xorg has been done in a way such that it will
be useful to Debian when the time comes for Debian to migrate from xfree86.
These fonts won't affect most applications, as most user-oriented desktop
applications use client-side fonts with fontconfig/Xft/FreeType. If you want
new cool fonts, find some TTFs and throw them in ~/.fonts.

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