[tex-live] ICC profiles for PDF/A compliance

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Fri Sep 7 02:00:46 CEST 2018

Hi Karl, Norbert, Peter,

On 7 Sep 2018, at 7:19 am, Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org<mailto:karl at freefriends.org>> wrote:

sRGB_IEC61966-2-1_black_scaled.icc is non-free and should be removed
from TeX Live.

Ok, done. (I wonder if http://argyllcms.com/<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/-HlJClx1OYUo9g8quqbkbq?domain=argyllcms.com> has any other free profiles.)


This page says that the ICC profiles *are* free.

Debian Bug report logs - #786946
lintian: false positive: icc-profiles *are* free

But that was back in 2015; then you were arguing that they are free.

and the final clarification of the license in 2017.

OK. There is a single-line statement saying:   "not free"
without any explanation of why Debian has determined this.

I guess at http://www.color.org/srgbprofiles.xalter<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/l0kuCnx1Z5UGyM2psEdNnH?domain=color.org>,
which says the file may not be changed.

It is not changed, so far as I’m aware;
 pdfTeX  just includes the binary file verbatim.
Not sure about XeTeX and LuaTeX, but I cannot imagine why
they would change anything about it.

We should inform Ross that he removes/replaces the files in [pdfx]

.. and update the code and doc, which now use the sRGB profile.
Cc-ing Ross.

If this is going to stop Debian from distributing TeXLive, then I suppose
we should change the profile.

Can we switch to:    sRGB2014.icc   from
   http://www.color.org/srgbprofiles.xalter  ?
Or will that be subject to the same objection?

What about the updated v4 profiles, on that same page?


Their licensing seems to be a bit more liberal than before;
viz.    from   http://www.color.org/profiles2.xalter#license


The copyright owner and terms of use of an ICC profile are normally identified in the Creator field in the profile header and in the Copyright tag. Where ICC is the copyright owner, the following license terms apply:

"This profile is made available by the International Color Consortium, and may be copied, distributed, embedded, made, used, and sold without restriction. Altered versions of this profile shall have the original identification and copyright information removed and shall not be misrepresented as the original profile."

ICC recommends that other profile creators and copyright owners adopt a similar wording for profiles that are intended to be freely distributed. See the Profile Registration page for more details.

On the other hand,  sRGB_IEC61966-2-1_black_scaled.icc
is still available at    http://www.color.org/black_scaled_2009_srgb.xalter
where it says:

Legacy v2 sRGB profile

This sRGB profile has been superseded by the sRGB2014.icc profile, following a 2014 corrigendum to IEC 61966. This previous version of the profile is made available for those who need it for compatibility with existing workflows.
Note that this version of the profile has different licensing terms from the standard ICC profile license


To anyone who acknowledges that the file "sRGB_IEC61966-2-1_no_black_scaling.icc" is provided "AS IS" WITH NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY, permission to use, copy and distribute these file for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the file is not changed including the ICC copyright notice tag, and that the name of ICC shall not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission. ICC makes no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose.

So it would seem:
     sRGB2014.icc    is free
     sRGB_IEC61966-2-1_black_scaled.icc   is not free.


And what about the CMYK profile?      coated_FOGRA39L_argl.icc
Has an objection to this ever been raised?

That file is no longer available at:    http://www.color.org/registry/index.xalter
which is where we got it from, I think.
The licensing on the files available there now says things like:

Profile Name: PSOuncoated_v3_FOGRA52.icc

Profile Provider: European Color Initiative (ECI)

Contact: Florian Suessl

Copyright:  Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

License: This profile is made available by ECI European Color Initiative, with permission of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, and may be used, embedded and exchanged without restriction. It may not be distributed, sold or altered without written permission of ECI European Color Initiative. Color Toolbox 17.0.0 - (c) Copyright 2015 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. All Rights Reserved.

So these would be classed as “not free” right?
Is it reasonable for TeXLive to request permission to distribute
from some of these places:  ECI, IDEAlliance, VIGC, … ?
But if granted, would Debian be able to re-distribute?

I hope the gs profiles are free. -k

Please clarify, and give a clear reason why you think there is a violation
by including these files.

Alternatively, there is this site:


Worth investigating?



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