[tex-live] OCR-B fonts

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Sun Dec 19 00:18:37 CET 2010

2010/12/18 Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org>:
>      2. It is given to free non commercial use, but it may be
> No selling => clearly nonfree.  ocrb is not in TL.
The fonts _are_ in TL:

[wagner at hroch486 ~]$ kpsewhich ocrb10.mf
[wagner at hroch486 ~]$ kpsewhich ocrb10.tfm

I would prefer if the fonts could be free. I have found only non-free
OCR-B in Type1 on the web.

>    (In Germany there even exists an industrial
>     standard - DIN ????? - that describes the typefaces.
>     Based on such material the input has been developed.)
> In general, when a work is developed independently from public specs
> like that, it cannot infringe copyright of another work.  And in this
> specific case, when something has a public spec like this, presumably
> the intent is to allow for independent implementations, and not grant a
> monopoly to Adrian Frutiger for his particular OCR-B.
>    1. Is the original license OK so that I can distribute PFB files
>    created from them (mftrace runs metafont + potrace + fontforge)
> You can surely distribute them under the same terms as the mf fonts,
> which is fine for CTAN.
>    2. What kind of free license will suit best to these Type1 fonts?
> Using anything except the license of the original mf's is dubious.  One
> could make an argument for being allowed to change the license, but that
> will just induce questions.  I wouldn't go there.
>    3. What is the proper place on CTAN where I should put it? The fonts
>    directory already contains the ocr-b directory with the MF sources.
> Well, Robin could answer more definitively, but I'd suggest
> fonts/ocr-b-type1.
>    4. Is someone willing to prepare higher quality OCR-B in Type-1 and
>    possibly OpenType (with hinting etc)?
> If someone wants to go that far, may I suggest that it would be even
> more useful to develop a free ocr-b font from scratch (presumably from
> the same specs) in OpenType, which is easy enough to convert to Type1
> using fontforge.  Then it could be included in TL.
> Another possibility would be to try to contact Norbert Schwarz and see
> if he would be willing to use a free license.
> Best,
> karl

Zdeněk Wagner

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