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In the Personal Computer Software License Agreement for Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, which is the current version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader (the agreement is listed under Adobe's Product licenses and terms of use), there is a section 4.6:

4.6 Font Software. If the Software includes font software […]

(b) You may embed copies of the font software into its electronic documents for the purpose of printing, viewing, and editing the document. No other embedding rights are implied or permitted under this license.

(c) As an exception to the above, the fonts listed at http://www.adobe.com/go/restricted_fonts are included with the Software only for purposes of operation of the Software user interface and not for inclusion within any output files. The listed fonts are not licensed under this Section 4.6. You may not copy, move, activate or use, or allow any font management tool to copy, move, activate or use, the listed fonts in or with any software application, program, or file other than the Software.

The link http://www.adobe.com/go/restricted_fonts is now defunct, as the correct link is now http://www.adobe.com/products/type/font-licensing/restricted-fonts.html. Here it says:

If the Adobe Product EULA limits your use of certain fonts to the operation of the Adobe Software only, the following list identifies the fonts governed by those limiting EULA terms. […]

MinionPro-Bold.otf

MinionPro-BoldIt.otf

MinionPro-It.otf

[…]

MinionPro-Regular.otf

As I understand it, the license agreement is quite clear. "You may not […] allow any font management tool to copy, move, activate or use, the listed fonts [= Minion Pro] in or with any software application, program, or file other than the Software [= Adobe Acrobat]". But this is exactly what the minionpro package does, as it is a package containing scripts which "con­vert the Open Type to Adobe Type 1 for­mat".

In the license agreement for previous version of the Reader, which is Adobe Reader 11 from 2012, the same content as section 4.6 is given in section 16.6. This agreement is located on Adobe's archive page.

The files for the minionpro package are from 2007, when the concurrent version of the Reader was version 8. In the license agreement for that version, it appears as if the minionpro package was unproblematic given section 14.7 (I can't copy text from the agreement, so I'm just quoting the relevant sentence here):

You may convert and install the font software into another format for use in other environments […].

There is no mentioning of "restricted fonts" in this agreement.

So am I right in concluding that the minionpro package was an unproblematic package in 2007, when the license agreement allowed conversion of any fonts bundled with Adobe Reader, but that it is more unclear now whether the package should be on CTAN, given that the license agreement now states that one cannot use any tools to "activate or use" certain restricted fonts, of which the bundled Minion Pro fonts are explicitly included?

I wanted to address this to the package maintainer, but no contact information is provided in the documentation other than a now defunct url.

closed as off-topic by Johannes_B, Svend Tveskæg, Andrew, clemens, Joseph Wright Jul 24 '15 at 13:37

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    Perhaps you should ask the people at Adobe, they are the owners of the fonts in quesion. – vonbrand Jul 24 '15 at 10:55
  • @vonbrand Sure, but I'd rather raise the question here first so that whoever manages CTAN can take the appropriate actions before Adobe's lawyers get involved. As I understand it, the CTAN people are quite strict and knowledgable when it comes to license agreements. – Sverre Jul 24 '15 at 10:56
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    I'd suggest emailing the CTAN people in that case ;). Essentially, this question asks for legal advice. As a non-lawyer, I can't say, but it would seem to me that the above would not render the package itself illegal if it is legal to use it with earlier versions. (Linux does not even have Reader 10 or 11 so it would be interesting to know what it says for version 9.) But that doesn't mean it isn't potentially problematic.... – cfr Jul 24 '15 at 13:00
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is dealing with a legal (licensing) matter which is not covered by the SE-network. – Johannes_B Jul 24 '15 at 13:08
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    CTAN does include them, TL is much more strict. In fact, minionpro is not included in TL nor MikteX; cf. How can a package be listed on CTAN but not be available in Tex Live? – Johannes_B Jul 24 '15 at 13:33
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My current understanding is that it's ok to provide the tools for converting the Minion Pro font files as long as you have the license to do so. As an example, there's the Adobe Font Folio 11 software, which includes the Minion Pro fonts (see the full list of included fonts). In the license agreements for this software, this is stated in section 14.7:

You may convert and install the font software into another format for use in other environments […]

(Read the section more carefully for details about those "other environments").

But, as the OP's question indicates, you don't have the license to convert the Minion Pro fonts if you acquired them through the current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's therefore quite problematic, as I see it, that the minionpro package explicitly encourages the users to convert the Minion Pro font files bundled with Adobe Reader.

From the package information on CTAN:

The base font is the Open Type ver­sion of Min­ion Pro; scripts are pro­vided to con­vert the Open Type to Adobe Type 1 for­mat. (Min­ion Pro is com­mer­cially avail­able, and copies are bun­dled with Acro­bat Reader.)

From the README:

The MinionPro distribution is split into several archives. Which of them you need depends on the version of the fonts you have installed. We support three different versions of MinionPro:

o 001.000: This is the first version which can be found on, e.g., the 'Adobe Type Classics for Learning' CD.

o 001.001: This is the version included with, e.g., the 'Adobe Font Folio Opentype Edition' CD.

o 002.000: This version is included in recent Acrobat Reader installations and is currently for sale.

[…]

For example, if you have only the fonts coming with Adobe Reader 7, you have the base weights in font version 002.000. Then you need

scripts.zip

metrics-base.zip

enc-v2.000.zip

As a minimum, I think it's wise to remove these lines, as they are quite explicit encouragements and instructions for how to act in breach of the current license agreement for Adobe Reader.

  • I agree with your last statement, that the mentioning of AR in the package description should be removed. – Johannes_B Jul 24 '15 at 13:31
  • @Johannes_B Even if it would be perfectly legal with AR 7? Note that the CTAN package doesn't work properly with fonts from current versions of AR, as I understand it, anyway. That's why people use that other package whose name I forget. The 'recent' should probably be clarified, though. – cfr Jul 24 '15 at 15:22

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