Hi Lyes,

I'm not sure I can help (in terms of actually removing the FE-legal blocker in the issue), but I'm curious to see if I understand, from a legal perspective, what has gone on here.

Am I correct that there was the Figlets fonts pacakge which contained a bunch of different licenses, some of which were problematic for Fedora. But the pyfiglet "port", as they call it, has done the work of removing the problematic licenses thus creating a similar fonts package with only the fonts under "good" licenses?

Looking at the Github repo, I also see the MIT license at the top level. Your spec file notes there are many licenses, though, in the actual font files. I browsed around a bit, but I was curious as to how you discerned the other licenses? (i.e., manually looking or otherwise?) Just curious as to some of the details of package maintainer's process when it comes to licenses!

I'm not sure I agree with the legal analysis of the copyrightability of fonts as summarized, but I'm also not sure that matters if the stated licenses for all the fonts in this package would be meet the "good" criteria for Fedora.


On 10/23/21 12:30 PM, Lyes Saadi wrote:
Hello Legal,

I'm bringing back a discussion from 2012[1]: Figlet fonts!

Indeed, I am trying to package python-pyfiglet[2] as a dependency for other
packages. But, after the review, it came up that a lot of weird fonts were
included. At the time, I didn't know anything about the discussion, and decided
to abort everything.

Recently though, a developer contacted me through the bug report, and proposed
to help on the issue. He triaged the fonts and separated them depending on
whether they were Open-Source or not, and we were thus able to create a clean
package with none of the problematic fonts in it.

In that discussion[3], emerged the fact that a discussion over this already
happened ([1]), but it seems that either no consensus was reached, or that such
consensus was lost to time as I wasn't able to find any conversation on figlet
either on legal or devel mailing lists archives. And, it seems that the issue
was just simply avoided since figlet ended up removing the problematic fonts

But, upstream would like to keep the problematic fonts if possible in Fedora.
And so, I would like to ask Legal to either give me the answer, if it actually
was a settled matter, or to reach a consensus on Figlet fonts.

To resume the situation (as I understand it, I am not a lawyer, obviously):
In the US, fonts glyphs are not copyright-able as it is considered
insufficiently creative. For the same reason, Bitmap fonts (fonts defined pixel
by pixel) are also not copyright-able, as they are only considered as data which
represents glyphs. But, Vector fonts (fonts defined using drawing instructions
and code), is, on the other hand, copyright-able because it is defined through a
software code.

Then, we come to Figlet fonts. For those not aware of what Figlet fonts, they
are also known as ASCII fonts:

    __  __     ____           __                     ____

   / / / /__  / / /___       / /   ___  ____ _____ _/ / /

  / /_/ / _ \/ / / __ \     / /   / _ \/ __ `/ __ `/ / /

 / __  /  __/ / / /_/ /    / /___/  __/ /_/ / /_/ / /_/

/_/ /_/\___/_/_/\____( )  /_____/\___/\__, /\__,_/_(_)

                     |/              /____/

The issue with those is that no ruling (as far as I know) ever concerned that
type of font in US Court. Though, one argument would be that Figlet fonts are
similar to Bitmap fonts, as they only contain data about glyphs, and do not, in
the same way as Vector fonts do, contain code giving to the computer drawing
instructions for the fonts. As such Figlet fonts are not modular, or extensible,
they just contain raw data about a font.

But still, all this is speculation, and, as I said, I am not a lawyer, so I
don't have any slight idea if such a defense would hold in court.

I hope to have resumed the situation clearly enough and that I didn't make any

Lyes Saadi

[1]: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=820642
[2]: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1876108
[3]: https://github.com/pwaller/pyfiglet/issues/89

PS: Can we remove the FE-legal blocker from the review request now that all the
fonts have been sorted out?
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