TomCallaway/No bundling of fonts in other packages2

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Avoid bundling of fonts in other packages

A page of the Fonts Special Interest Group

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:

  1. any package that makes use of bundled font files SHOULD strongly consider packaging them in a separate sub-package, if they have any value outside of the package
    • Font files which are in a standardized format, and contain a set of characters or symbols which are useful for other packages are considered to have value.
    • if a package includes fonts with value outside the application, the packager SHOULD ask upstream to publish the font files separately
  2. the packager(s) and reviewer(s) of fonts MUST be familiar with our fonts legal page.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.