Today via my KDE4 panel updater applet I see a patch called fetchmsttfonts. It has these notes attached to it:
Installing this update will download install the Core TrueType fonts to your system. For legal reasons we can’t include the Microsoft(r) TrueType Core Fonts in our product. This patch downloads these fonts and installs them on your system. Please note that about 4 MByte data are downloaded therefore. License for the fonts will be installed as /usr/share/doc/corefonts/EULA.html.
It’s not automaticaly ticked for installation. You have to consciously tick it to get it. That seems to imply that through some circular reasoning there is a legal way to get msttfonts into openSUSE. Could that be or am I misreading that altogether?
Not quite sure what you mean, but I got the update as well… just hit the update button it offered and it seems to have installed as ‘check now’ doesn’t bring it up again and…
# zypper se msttfonts
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
S | Name | Summary | Type
| fetchmsttfonts | Helper package to run the fetchmsttfonts script | srcpackage
i | fetchmsttfonts | Helper package to run the fetchmsttfonts script | package
i | fetchmsttfonts | Download and Install Microsoft(r) TrueType Core Fonts | patch
No, I don’t think there is anything devious about the fact that it’s not ticked by default, just that it’s not an essential patch and some people might not want download megabytes. The download TT fonts script has been in SUSE for a long time and is a well-established way of getting around the cannot-redistribute nature of the fonts files by letting the end-user fetch it, albeit automatically.
I don’t much care personally about microsoft’s rights to the fonts, it’s not as if the microsoft entity can be hurt significantly by sharing their fonts, but the weaving that goes on around the legal intricacies is always interesting.
But the fonts themselves are copyrighted and M$ probably holds the rights. They can’t stop you from installing any ttf you have bought, but linux distros cannot distribute them. Hence it’s up to you if you install them from a windows partition or another machine running windows. That way, they gave you the tools to import them, but can’t be held responsible for how you use it. (Same as multimedia support)