[OS X TeX] [OT?] Font licenses (was: gtamacfonts ligatures: PDF searchability)

Robert Spence spence at saar.de
Tue Mar 28 12:21:52 EST 2006

On 28 Mar 2006, at 15:22 , William Adams wrote:

> On Mar 28, 2006, at 8:16 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> Furthermore, it would seem unfair from Apple to prevent "pre-
>> processing" of the OS X fonts for TeX use
> It's not fair to take unfair advantage of the usage rights granted by
> Apple on behalf of the owners of these designs. Apple licensed these
> fonts from their designers for use in and within Mac OS X --- TeX
> isn't bundled w/ Mac OS X,

"iTypeset", "iMath", "iKnuth" ... just trying to imagine some  
possibilities here ...

> so it's unreasonable to expect that they
> should work with TeX.
> Moreover, most, if not all of the designs are available separately
> from their original designers in formats which are supported by
> pdftex --- if you want to use Hoefler Text w/o XeTeX's limitations,
> then license the Type 1 version from www.typography.com ---

[going a bit OT here]

I checked out their site and some others a few weeks ago, figuring  
that I could only achieve the PDF typesetting standards I want if I  
relativize (somewhat) my ideological commitment to Free Open Source  
Everything. (And it would be really nice to have proper Concrete...)   
My goal is to make all my course materials available to my students  
online, so they'll have the option of downloading them and reading  
them on-screen and/or printing them out whenever and wherever they  
choose.  And sections 3 and 4 of the license agreement for the Type 1  
version of the Hoefler Text fonts would seem to preclude me doing  
that kind of web publishing with them (or maybe I haven't understood  
the legalese).  An alternative might be to try to persuade my  
university to buy a multi-site license and then limit access to the  
documents to that subset of the users of the university's intranet  
who are registered for one of my classes and therefore have a  
password that allows them to view a special restricted-access  
website.  But if a subset of the fonts was embedded in the PDF  
documents that the students downloaded onto their own computer, then  
I think that would be a breach of the license agreement.  So it seems  
to me the "real thing" is only for printing on paper.

Not that I would object to paying money for such a fine font in the  
Type 1 format I can now more or less handle --- it's just that seeing  
all those professionally-hinted swashes and serifs in a properly  
typeset text on a computer screen immediately suggests all sorts of  
interesting ways to redefine the acquired significance of traditional  
typographic conventions (... eighteenth-century picaresque novel  
meets twentieth-century road movie, all done with a few  
hyperlinks ... ; or you could retypeset Alice in Wonderland in color  
for a beamer presentation, and use pstricks, and SOUL, and ...).   
Plus there's the university's rather nervous legal department, and  
the uncertain scope of Fair Use in the IT age.  (I don't want to  
become a test case...)

So the upshot is:  if you've bought a recent Mac OS X and want to be  
able to use all its system fonts with TeX without losing quality or  
getting into any gray areas in terms of licensing issues, the best  
way is to phase out 8-bit-encoded Type 1 fonts with pdftex and push  
ahead with modern unicode fonts and XeTeX, is that it?

BTW: I came across the following link the other day, about Adobe's  
policy on the phasing out of Type 1:


Some candid exchanges between an Adobe guy and a Type-1 supporter  
calling himself "Anonymous Coward".  Worth a quick read.

Thanks for helping me to get things a bit clearer,

-- Robert Spence
Applied Linguistics
Saarland University

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