TrueType fonts in Computer Sanskrit etc.

Alec McAllister ECL6TAM at
Fri Jul 14 13:21:10 UTC 1995

>Date:          Thu, 13 Jul 1995 18:24:11 BST
>Reply-to:      indology at
>From:          giuseppe at (carlo della casa)
>To:            Members of the list <indology at>
>Subject:       Re: TrueType fonts in Computer Sanskrit etc.

> It probably is vastly outdated by CSX, but I would like to mention that
> I have been using a truetype font for romanized Sanskrit with my students
> for about two years now. A subset of Times,
{text deleted}
> Anybody interested?
> Alex Passi
> Istituto di Glottologia
> Universita' di Bologna
> Via Zamboni 16, Bologna, Italy
> giuseppe at
> or
> passi at

Dear All,

I do not suggest that there is anything wrong with Dr. Passi's fonts, 
but other users should be aware that it might be illegal to use a 
copyright font as the basis of one's own work.

When I made my LeedsBit and LeedsCyr packages (incidentally, LeedsBit 
contains the characters for transliterating Sanskrit), I contact the
Monotype corporation, which owns the copyright to Times New Roman.
That correspondence established that (in the UK, at least) it is a 
clear breach of copyright to take a copy of Times New Roman and use 
it as the basis of a font contain new characters in the Times New 
Roman typeface.

This is true even if the original font is owned completely legally: 
it is the shape of the letters themselves which is copyrighted (at 
least, that is the position in English law), not merely the software 
or file which contains them.

Monotype do have special versions of Times New Roman, containing 
characters for Eastern European languages and other scripts. The 
price I was quoted (two years ago) was 144 UK pounds PER USER!

The advice that I received from this university's Legal Advisor was 
"Don't make any font from a copyright original: only use an original 
design which is clearly declared by its makers to be in the public 

I followed this advice in my packages, using the Bitstream Charter 
font as the original. Bitstream Charter is very like Times New Roman, 
but different enough to avoid copyright problems. The Bitstream 
Corporation specifically designate this font as Public Domain, so my 
understanding is that it is entirely legal to base new fonts on this 

email: T.A.McAllister at Leeds.AC.UK

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