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Re: [Pkg-fonts-devel] Open Font License 1.1 Released

Nicolas Spalinger <nicolas_spalinger@sil.org> wrote:
> Many other key reviewers [namedrops] explained that the name change
> requirement is a desirable feature for fonts and that so-called
> "ready-to-eat" derivatives are problematic. A branch is something
> different by definition and it should identify itself as such and not
> masquerade itself as something else to the user.

As explained repeatedly, users should not have to configure font
substitution for every new font and especially should not have to
configure gentium.deb (a simple packaging of gentium, not a font branch)
as a substitute for gentium!

> The font name
> protection is a key feature of the OFL to guaranty artistic integrity to
> a font designer and actually make him consider releasing his work under
> a free license.

The fundamental problem is that OFL attempts to use copyright instead of
other laws (trademarks, fraud, moral rights, and so on).  In common with
many other licences doing similar things, OFL needs to be used carefully
to avoid trampling on the four freedoms.

Worse, it's a false sense of security for font designers.  OFL does
nothing to stop an unrelated font calling itself the Reserved Font Name
(because it cannot do anything about it).  Names should be controlled
by trademark if one feels strongly enough to hinder other fonts under
that name.  However, OFL's drafters seem to think font designers are
copyright-ignorant or just plain stupid enough to think RFNs are a big
selling point.  I feel Condition 3 can be used in a way that follows
the DFSG, but I continue to ask for its removal.

I'm happy to note that I think OFL 1.1 is the first version that *can*
be used for software that would follow the DFSG.

> The ftp-masters *have decided in favor of the OFL 1.0* and so we already
> have various quality open fonts in main (like Gentium, [...]

When?  Did ftpmaster get asked to consider the problems with OFL 1.0?

This sort of unsubstantiated claim has been made repeatedly, in the
press, at conferences and elsewhere.  It's apparently based only on
the acceptance of a few packages.  That says little itself: far more
obviously DFSG-busting licences have snuck into debian in the past!

Furthermore, I held back from filing the bug reports against ttf-gentium
and others because I thought OFL 1.1 was heading the right way and I
didn't want to cause ftpmaster unnecessary work.  I left a licensing@fsf
ticket dangling while OFL 1.1 was created, instead of pushing for OFL
to be removed from their lists.  I feel it is *very* bad behaviour to
now punish giving OFL time like this.

1.0 was not perfect.  Stop claiming it was.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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