[Fontconfig] Using MS licenses

Benjamin Rossen b.rossen at onsnet.nu
Wed Jan 12 00:18:40 EST 2005

As I understand it (please correct me if I am wrong) these fonts are not 
included in GNU/Linux and other Open Source distrubutions because of 
licensing issues. Presumably, the each distribution should be clean, in the 
sense that it should only include material that falls under the license used 
by that distribution. However, if Debian automatically installs these from 
the web, then it is effectively including them in the distribution. That 
seems strange to me.

Is there some fine legal distinction here which I do not understand? Why 
shouldn' t Debian just include the fonts in the distribution? Since we know 
that there is a Microsoft License attached to these fonts, presumably the 
user must get a warning before these are installed; something like:
"About to install Microsoft Web Fonts. Please read the license and press agree 
to continue, or skip ... etc."  

I am using Red Hat and Mandrake, so I do not know what Debian does. If this is 
the procedure, then what is the difference between including these in the 
distribution, and taking them from the web? 

Benjamin Rossen 

On Tuesday 11 January 2005 13:39, Juliusz Chroboczek wrote:
> > [The Microsoft Core Fonts] can't be included in a Linux distribution,
> > but anyone can make them available for free as long as the license 
> > is obeyed.
> AFAIK, they can be distributed, but only verbatim.  Hence, a Linux
> distribution could include them, but would have to cabextract them on
> the fly.
> If you're using Debian, the msttcorefonts package will automatically
> grab them off the web and configure your system to use them.
>                                         Juliusz
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