[OS X TeX] gtamacfonts ligatures: PDF searchability

Thomas A. Schmitz thomas.schmitz at uni-bonn.de
Wed Mar 29 03:35:17 EST 2006

Given that I'm one of the authors of gtamacfonts, I feel that I have  
to respond to this thread, although I have the impression that this  
discussion is not very fruitful. I am somewhat disturbed by William  
Adams's attacks, and I really feel that this is FUD. This is not  
helping anybody. Please excuse me if I take some of his allegations  
one by one and answer them.

1. "At a guess the gtamacfonts package converts the fonts in some way,
munging the encoding which causes the difficulty you see"
This is patent nonsense. You can try this yourself: take a tool like  
fontforge. Convert a font (say Baskerville) to  otf. Adjust the  
mapfile accordingly so it will now embed the otf font instead of the  
ttf (and run updmap if you're using LaTeX). Now copying from a pdf  
will work flawlessly. The reason this difficulty crops up is  
precisely because we did not want to convert the fonts and did not  
want to violate Apple's license.

2. "So you're converting from a Mac format .dfont to a set of .ttf files
by extracting them."
Yes, that's the same kind of "conversion" that's taking place when  
you unwrap your new computer and put it on your desk.

3. "Apple licensed these
fonts from their designers for use in and within Mac OS X --- TeX
isn't bundled w/ Mac OS X, so it's unreasonable to expect that they
should work with TeX."
We all know that we're exposed to a lot of marketing BS and a lot of  
lawyer BS. Marketing people will sell you a shiny computer and tell  
you that it can do just anything you want. Then the lawyers' fine  
print will tell you that you should not expect it to work with any  
software but the stuff that came bundled with it. I pity people who  
have to make a living doing stuff like this. And I think very  
strongly that we should not let this kind of twisted thinking enter  
into this list. It is unreasonable to claim that fonts should only  
work with the software that came bundled with OS X. Period.

4. "if you want to use Hoefler Text w/o XeTeX's limitations,
then license the Type 1 version from www.typography.com --- if you
don't want to do that, then pony up some money to pay to suport
development efforts to improve XeTeX and its support."
The logic of this sentence escapes me completely.

5. "Try that argument w/ a bookstore after you've purchased the hard-
cover and want a paperback copy to take w/ you to read when
Analogies are always dangerous, but this one is so obviousy flawed  
that it's just used as a rhetorical stick to beat people who hold  
different opinions. If I purchase a book in hardcover and  then wrap  
it in a different cover myself or have this done by a bookbinder, I  
don't have to pay amazon for the book a second time. It takes 5  
seconds to convert a font to a different format.
We have explicitly not done this and do explicitly not encourage  
people to do it; nevertheless, it is a difficult question whether  
this is fair use. Unpacking a .dfont format into the .ttf files that  
are part of it is definitely not a font conversion, IMHO.

6. "I've posted the relevant bits of Apple's license here in the past  
I'd suggest reviewing it w/ a lawyer if you don't believe me."
This is pure intimidation, nothing else. Copyright laws are different  
across the world, and what is true in the US may not be true in  
Germany, where I reside.

7. "Linotype at least very graciously offers an up-grade (including  
different versions, one specifically for Mac OS X compatibility) of
Zapfino, so I think it's reprehensible to not accept such."
You're constantly flip-flopping between legal and ethical arguments.  
This is just obfuscating the issues.

To sum up: I still think that making these system fonts available  
does not violate any license. William is so unrelenting about this  
issue that I get the impression he has some axe to grind, and i think  
discussion would be easier if we knew what this axe is. If you think  
this approach is a bad idea, don't use it. But please refrain from  
browbeating others into sharing your point of view.


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