[Pkg-fonts-devel] final stixfonts licence

Francesco Poli frx at firenze.linux.it
Sat Nov 17 17:48:50 UTC 2007

On Sat, 17 Nov 2007 06:23:52 +0930 Paul Wise wrote:

> Hi all,


> The final STIX fonts licence is available (quoted below too):
> Here are some of the comments they got on it:
> http://www.stixfonts.org/feedback-license.html

I read:

| Comment: The Debian project (http://www.debian.org/) would like to
| distribute your fonts. Unfortunately there seems to be a consensus
| that the licence agreement does not meet the Debian Free Software
| Guidelines (DFSG). The licence does not seem to allow modifications to
| parts of the fonts that are not the glyphs, which clashes with DFSG 3.
| This includes modifying the README.txt and any other files.
| Response: In our haste to release the fonts before the end of October,
| we accidentally failed to use the final version of the STIX Fonts
| license. That version of our license does permit the modifications
| required to conform to the DFSG, and indeed to other open source
| software licenses. (16 November 2007)

but the license text does not seem to be much changed.

> And the licence itself:

The only clause that seems to be somewhat modified, with respect to the
previously discussed draft[1] is clause 4:

>    4. You may also (a) add glyphs or characters to the Fonts, or any
> other material 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, or any other material, 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___ 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.

which basically adds a more explicit permission to act on "any other
material", rather than on glyphs or characters only.

But, despite this change, my concerns about *which* are the permitted
"acts" survive.

In the previous debian-legal thread[1] clarifications were asked for
about what may be done with glyphs[2].
The current license language does not seem to clarify anything...
Moreover it seems that the super-rename-restriction[3] is still

I still think this license fails to meet the DFSG, unfortunately.
Please remember that IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2007/11/msg00000.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2007/11/msg00014.html
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2007/11/msg00004.html

Another annoying point is

| this license will appear as a "click through" page that must be
| accepted in order to download a free copy of the fonts

which is really awkward for something that is intended to be free
software!   :-(

 Need to read a Debian testing installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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