[tex-live] Re: License of fonts included in X.org sources

Sven Luther sven.luther at wanadoo.fr
Sat Oct 22 19:55:28 CEST 2005

On Sat, Oct 22, 2005 at 09:01:53AM -0300, George White wrote:
> Quoting Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de>:
> > When Sebastian presented pdftex at Adobe, they had been amazed that
> > pdftex can do things they cannot do with their own tools (I suppose
> > that Hans Hagen provided some files).  This was years ago, but
> > meanwhile Thanh provided many microtypographical extensions.
> > 
> > If things evolve in the future as they did in the past, I suppose that
> > pdftex is not good PR for Adobe, it's more likely that they regard
> > pdftex as a competitor.
> In the past, Adobe has fixed Reader bugs that were triggered by files 
> created with TeX (encodings using ASCII NUL, although TeX responded to the bugs
> with new encodings).  Enlightened software vendors understand very well that the
> user community's investment in workflows forms the basis for long-term success. 
> I suspect Adobe is happy to have the TeX community providing the tools to deal
> with mathematical typesetting, as the commercial market is probably too small
> in relation to the cost of developing/maintaining the tools.  
> In my view, current intellectual property law misses the importance of the 
> user community.  This creates a danger that users can loose their investment
> in workflows through the demise of a vendor or outrageous price increases. 
> While I don't think Adobe has immediate plans to cash out on PDF, history shows
> that successful companies can fail (e.g., by ill-advised moves into areas where
> they have no competence), leaving intellectual property in limbo, or be taken
> over by groups who will grab the cash and run.
> While there is currently little danger of Adobe doing anything to hurt pdftex
> (and if pdftex was harmed as an unanticipated consequence of some other 
> action, Adobe would probably work to resolve the problem), there is no
> protection for pdftex from some unrelated business catastrophe.  In such an
> event, pdftex users would be better off than users who rely entirely
> on Adobe tools.  

Current acrobat reader (well, it was at least a couple of years ago) licencing
forbids it to be distributed alongside other pdf generating tools like pdftex,
which is in big part why it was removed from non-free back then.


Sven Luther

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