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Please allow building from source with a free toolchain #98

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jbicha opened this Issue Nov 18, 2017 · 19 comments

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@jbicha

jbicha commented Nov 18, 2017

Thank you for releasing your new Plex font under an open source license.

I am interested in packaging Plex for Debian and Ubuntu, but your font is not buildable from source with free/open source software which is a requirement for inclusion in the main Debian repository. That is number 2 in the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source Definition.

@davelab6

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davelab6 commented Nov 18, 2017

Strictly speaking the requirement for the building chain to be libre isn't in the definitions, but would mean the fonts go into Debian contrib, not main, as I remember.

Unless the hinting is done with a ttfautohint controls file, the hinting is unlikely to be authored or compilable with libre software

@jbicha

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jbicha commented Nov 19, 2017

Strictly speaking the requirement for the building chain to be libre isn't in the definitions

See the reject critieria from the Debian FTP Masters, the team that reviews new packages for inclusion in Debian. Specifically, see the section on Generated Files.

the fonts go into Debian contrib, not main

That is correct.

To clarify, is the .sketch file the original source?

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davelab6 commented Nov 19, 2017

@seejamescode

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seejamescode commented Feb 21, 2018

Hi @jbicha and @davelab6, please review our latest release and let us know if it serves this issue’s needs.

@BoldMonday

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BoldMonday commented Feb 22, 2018

@seejamescode Current method for building from sources does not use a free toolchain. Since there is currently no FOSS for editing/manipulating TrueType hinting instructions it will be hard to achieve this I think.

@paurullan

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paurullan commented Mar 30, 2018

Since there is currently no FOSS for editing/manipulating TrueType hinting instructions it will be hard to achieve this I think.

@BoldMonday @jbicha but there could be a build only for the OpenType, does not it? Maybe the Debian package does not really need the TrueType formats.

@davelab6

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davelab6 commented Apr 1, 2018

@paride

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paride commented Apr 11, 2018

Good point, Dave. It would be nice to have a statement about this by @seejamescode.

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seejamescode commented Apr 12, 2018

This is out my scope. I just know web use of font files. @BoldMonday would be the go-to person.

@paride

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paride commented Aug 14, 2018

I'm working at the Debian packaging of Plex. The Apache+OFL dual licensing that came with v1.1.4 is great news: we can stop worrying of the RFN clause. Unfortunately I think it will have to be distributed in contrib anyway, as I don't think there is a free tool that is able to build TTF or OTF fonts following the hinting instructions.

@twardoch

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twardoch commented Aug 14, 2018

@paride While you don't need to worry about the RFN, I'm not entirely sure if the dual-licensing model allows for unlimited creation and distribution of derivatives of fonts named "IBM Plex", because, on addition to "Plex" being RFN under OFL, "IBM" is also a registered trademark of IBM, and AFAIK, "Plex" is a trademark of IBM.

It would be fantastic if IBM could clarify how users are expected to apply these trademarks when creating derivatives.

@paride

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paride commented Aug 14, 2018

@twardoch you are right, we should consider trademarks. The trademark is on "IBM Plex"

https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/1/UK00003255123

so calling a derivative font "Plex" alone should be fine. Still I don't like the idea of renaming it, as it causes compatibility issues and confusion. The Apache license says that:

This License does not grant permission to use the trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file.

and this could be enough to be allowed to call "IBM Plex" a font built from unmodified source. Anyway it seems that we can't even (properly) rebuild it for the moment...

@paride

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paride commented Aug 23, 2018

Well, no more Apache: #190 (comment).

@vvug

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vvug commented Sep 10, 2018

Is it possible to build the OTF on Linux, as @paurullan suggested?

@mjabbink mjabbink closed this Nov 1, 2018

@paride

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paride commented Nov 1, 2018

@mjabbink so is this officially a WONTFIX?

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mjabbink commented Nov 1, 2018

I thought resolved. @BoldMonday to chime in on source code. Trademark is for IBM Plex. If shapes are not being altered or no no glyphs added and we have opportunity to checkout the final output we can grant permission to still use the name. If changescandcadditiinscare made it would require a new name.

@BoldMonday

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BoldMonday commented Nov 1, 2018

Fact is there is no open source tool chain for building these fonts. That is out of our control unfortunately.

@twardoch

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twardoch commented Nov 1, 2018

Since it’s OFL-only now, both trademark and the RFN limitation apply. While the trademark may be “IBM Plex“, the Reserved Font Name is “Plex”.

So — without the copyright owner’s permission — no 3rd party is allowed to distribute derivative (non-original) fonts that have “Plex” in their name.

The copyright owner is of course free to grant the permission to any 3rd party, or to lift or change the RFN in a future release.

@twardoch

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twardoch commented Nov 1, 2018

https://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&id=ofl-faq_web#1db14da7 explains the thinking behind RFN and font format conversions: the idea is that a lossless compression such as WOFF or possibly WOFF2 is not considered “modification”, so changing the name is not necessary, but other conversions that entail modification would require a name change unless the copyright owner grants permission to use the reserved name.

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