[Pkg-fonts-devel] non-DFSG postscript embedded in fontforge [was: Re: Imager]

john knightley john.knightley at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 06:43:01 UTC 2012

There are a number of different issues here, some are easier to address
than others.

On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg at fifthhorseman.net
> wrote:

> Package: fontforge
> Severity: serious
> On 03/03/2012 07:48 AM, Nicholas Bamber wrote:
>> We have a package libimager-perl where we have had to remove a few
>> adobe-related test files as being non-DFSG. See
>> http://cpansearch.perl.org/**src/TONYC/Imager-0.88/adobe.**txt<http://cpansearch.perl.org/src/TONYC/Imager-0.88/adobe.txt>.
>> However given a comment in the latest version's changelog:
>> " - note that the generator of the apparently non-DFSG-free postscript
>> in MMOne.pfb is a Debian package."
>> by which he means fontforge. I intend to email to the author and assure
>> him that this is a purely precautionary measure on our part and that the
>> functionality of the package is not inhibited.
>> However since fontforge has been roped into the issue I wonder what you
>> guys think.
> Hi Nicholas--
> Thank you for raising this issue.  I just did a bit of research to try to
> figure out what this is about.
> In fontforge, it appears that this code is embedded in
> fontforge/othersubrs.c
> The originals of several of these functions seem to appear (with
> non-DFSG-free licensing) in the appendices of
> http://partners.adobe.com/**public/developer/en/font/5015.**Type1_Supp.pdf<http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/en/font/5015.Type1_Supp.pdf>
> In particular, the licensing says:
>  This code, as well as the code in the following appendices, is
>>>> copyrighted by
>>>> Adobe Systems Incorporated, and may not be reproduced except by
>>>> permission of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Adobe Systems Incorporated
>>>> grants permission to use this code in Type 1 font programs, as long as
>>>> the
>>>> code is used as it appears in this document, the copyright notice
>>>> remains
>>>> intact, and the character outline code included in such a font program
>>>> is
>>>> neither copied nor derived from character outline code in any Adobe
>>>> Systems
>>>> font program.
> This license looks pretty non-DFSG-free to me, and it applies at least to
> the makeblendedfont array in fontforge/othersubrs.c.
> Even more depressing, the makeblendedfont array in othersubrs.c actually
> has a modified comment (correcting a mistakenly copy/pasted buggy comment
> from the code in the PDF!) which potentially means that it is itself in
> violation of Adobe's restrictive license.
This is not such big issue in that it is just a matter of getting Adobe to
produce a corrected version - could you state exactly what change needs to
be made.

> I'm not really sure what to do about this other than to open an RC bug
> against fontforge, which this e-mail should do :(
> We could probably make a new dfsg-free "clean" upstream tarball that is
> still capable of building fontforge binaries by ripping out big chunks of
> this file (i haven't tried it yet), but i don't know what that would do to
> fontforge's ability to do Type1 font generation.
I someone could try this its worth see what the resulting difference is.

> Another approach would be to move fontforge from the main archive to the
> non-free archive; but it seems like that would relegate many of our font
> packages to contrib, due to build-dependencies. :(
In the past I have seen US and NUS versions of fontforge. The solution
would therefore seem to produce a dfsg free version of fontforge which
stays in main, albeit with somewhat reduced.


> I'm open to other suggestions; i would be overjoyed, in fact, to hear
> other suggestions.  Does anyone have any proposals?
>        --dkg
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