[Pkg-fonts-devel] Bug#703456: Bug#703456: Please add Nafees Nastaleeq

Nicolas Spalinger nicolas_spalinger at sil.org
Fri Jun 20 12:02:07 UTC 2014

On 10/06/14 14:07, Gunnar Hjalmarsson wrote:
> 2014-06-10 07:07, Christian PERRIER wrote:
>> Let's first decide about Nafees Nastaleeq....
> Right.
> This is the license again:
> http://www.cle.org.pk/software/license/Nafees_Nastaleeq_License.html
> Basically it's an Expat license with a few restrictions:
> - You must rename the font if you modify it - While you are permitted
> to include the font in commercial software, you are not allowed to
> sell the font itself. - You may not use the names Nafees or CRULP in
> an advertising context without permission.
> So, would any of those restrictions prevent the font from being
> included in the Debian archive? Personally I think not.

One of the major issues lies with a clause referring explicitly to the GPL
while the license itself not being the GPL. Basically the font embedding
clause is really messy: this font exception (lifted from the 
experimental font
exception designed to work with the GNU GPL) can be removed in
downstream derivatives: users and publishers cannot be sure that
derivative fonts explicitly allow embedding or not. The significant risk
is that documents created using derivative fonts will have to be
released under GPL because this font license propagates to the document
itself which is an unintended but quite problematic side-effect. The
consequence is that it breaks the trust users can put into the licensing if
they can't be sure if they can embed the fonts or not in their documents.

And - as Christian rightly pointed out - there are serious issues from a
compatibility point of view to take into account. For example, the smart
font code is stuck in a silo project-only license. Not so good for
future maintainership and general efforts to move towards a more open

Debian and Ubuntu should not encourage but rather resist every
well-meaning research institute around the world trying to cook up their own
project-specific and incompatible license.

I think it's well-worth for the benefit of Debian and Ubuntu users of
this font (and the wider community) to continue to advocate for a
re-relase by upstream under a community-recognized and DFSG-approved
license instead.

Thanks to all involved for their work on this :-)


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