PackagingDrafts/No bundling of fonts in other packages (2008-07-24)
After discovering the massive legal and packaging mess texlive fonts were (and TEX people are supposed to be serious about fonts), I propose the following addition to Fedora's general guidelines. (next to No inclusion of pre-built binaries or libraries)
It was not amusing when offenders were marginal games, but when core distribution packages make the same mistakes we have a problem.
No bundling of fonts in other packages
Given that fonts can be reused in many ways, that they can be bulky, that they usually have distinct licensing requirements, and that font legal problems are endemic:
- any packager that makes use of fonts MUST have them packaged separately.
- the packager(s) and reviewer(s) of fonts MUST be familiar with our fonts legal page.
- they SHOULD exert their commercially reasonable efforts to trace fonts to their original creators, and not ship fonts collected by middlemen with no modifications.
- middlemen often strip part of the legal context.
- they SHOULD package each font family separately, and avoid font collections that mix fonts of different history, licensing, or origin.
- font collections hide legal problems in the mass.
- the exception is fonts created by the same authors and released at the same time in the same archive. But even then it is very possible some fonts will be tainted, while the others are fine.
In addition, fonts in general-purpose formats such as Type1, OpenType TT (TTF) or OpenType CFF (OTF) are subject to specific packaging guidelines (1, 2), and should never be packaged in a private application directory instead of the system-wide font repositories.
This proposal was discussed the 2008-08-26.