[arch-general] Packages with non free licenses

Grigorios Bouzakis grbzks at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 02:32:12 EST 2007

On Tue, Dec 18, 2007 at 02:41:56PM -0500, w9ya at qrparci.net wrote: 
> Nonetheless, IF there is no clearly defined license especially when no
> license document is extent on stuff that is meant to be used freely (as
> long as it is not for commercial distribution), then why shouldn't arch
> allow for a maintained package of these fonts.

Actually i found the Mircosoft EULA:


>From the FAQ:


Q: What can I do with these fonts?

A:  For all the rules that govern the use of these fonts please read the end
user license agreement.

- Anyone can download and install these fonts for their own use.
- You may only redistribute the fonts in their original form (.exe or
.sit.hqx) and with their original file name from your Web site or
intranet site.
- You must not supply the fonts, or any derivative fonts based on them,
in any form that adds value to commercial products, such as CD-ROM or
disk based multimedia programs, application software or utilities. See
Microsoft's permissions site for more details.

As far as i can tell after reading the above, Archlinux's way of
distributing these fonts doesnt break the Microsoft EULA besides the not
providing a copy of the license point.
Adittionaly the license prohibits the package to be supplied in a CD-ROM
form, which means that Archlinux wont be able to provide a snapshot of
its repos in such a form as long as this package is lying there.
I dont know what other distros (primarily Debian) do with this. I know for 
a fact that Slackware doesnt provide these fonts.

If that is the case i dont see a reason to have 2 packages, 1 in extra
and 1 in unsupported. 
As long as Archlinux doesnt provide the fonts in a CD/DVD and the package 
in extra gets a license it seems to be just fine.

> Or put another way, I am hoping that this discussion is simply for the
> purpose of finding a suitable way to deal with the license field in some
> or a specific PKGBUILD. <- And I hope we are not talking about some purity
> clickish deal like Debian and other distros that are against this or that
> because it does not fit into some preconceived notion about there being a
> NEED for a specific kind of license and/or a NEED for providing a specific
> kind of licensing document. Those kinds of things always seem to end up
> satisfying no one but a small number of zealots.
> Arch has always been about a clean way for a user to get something useful
> AND desirable. Let's not go off half-cocked on a wild goose chase and end
> up not pleasing people by throwing good packages into the trash heap or
> making things complicated, especially if there is NOT a good reason to do
> so.
> I just hope we can leave packages as they are

Thats the whole point. Those packages cant be left as they are. Both
packages available through Archlinux webpages, the one in extra and
the other in unsupported, at least at this point, do not conform with the
Call me anything you want to, but i doubt a zealot is the appropriate.
Personally i dont care about having a purified Archlinux when there are far 
better close source alternatives like it happens eg. with flash.
My only concern is to provide the software in the official repos as its
meant to be provided.
Call me a pesimist but i think the day where problems will arise is not
that far away, and as people here say i would rather cook now and not
when i get hungry.

As phrakture said, and im sure we all agree if there is way to get the same 
results using only free fonts that would be best, so my original proposal 
still stands.
If anyone can contribute to this please do so.
Judging by the votes font packages get in AUR this should interest a
large number of people.


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