fonts and patents
two news which may interest you.
.) Arphic Inc, a Taiwanese font company, has released four Chinese
TrueType fonts, two covering the GB character set, and the other
two having Big 5 character set. The licence (which you can find
attached, justified to fit the screen better) is a slightly
modified GPL which fits better to fonts.
The home site is
but I think it would be better that these fonts are copied to
ftp.gnu.org so that all servers around the world mirror them. All
in all, this is about 30MByte of data -- the connection to Taiwan
(at least from Europe) is extremely bad, and since ftp.gnu.org can
be found frequently on CD-ROMs coming with Linux distributions,
most users don't have to download it (and many users don't have
internet at all).
If you agree, please forward this piece of mail to the person
responsible for ftp.gnu.org.
.) Stefan Seefeld has informed us that he talked with you about the
TrueType licensing issues. The current situation is that Apple has
sent to our main developer a snail mail (see the end of this mail),
and announced the next step of signing a NDA (as it is usual in
such cases) for discussing the licence issues. So until now we
don't know how Apple will react, and if we know, we are not allowed
to talk about it. Tricky, tricky.
Peter Deutsch told us that Apple is moving extremely slow with
its licence policy...
Since Apple is interested in OpenSource stuff recently, we believe
that there are good chances that Apple no longer asks for patent
licencing fees, but who knows.
To avoid patent infringements, a compilation macro has been
integrated meanwhile into FreeType which simply switches of the
hinting engine (the only part affected by patents). A consequence
of activating this macro is that e.g. printing with TrueType fonts
will be OK even if hinting is disabled since at larger resolutions
hinting isn't needed usually. But screen fonts will suffer a great
loss and may be even unusable. [Interestingly, most CJK fonts
don't have hints at all, cf the four free fonts from Arphic.]
Just a side note: We three main developers live in countries
(France and Germany) where it is basically impossible to have
patents on software. Even if the European Council decides to adapt
European Patent law to US law -- a lot of organizations are working
against these plans, see e.g. www.ffii.org for more details and
links -- we are not affected because only new patents will be
addressed by the new law. Only people in the US and probably some
other countries outside of Europe will suffer.
We would be glad if you can comment this, maybe giving us some
suggestions how to proceed.
Werner (on behalf of the FreeType team)
ARPHIC PUBLIC LICENSE
Copyright (C) 1999 Arphic Technology Co., Ltd.
11Fl. No.168, Yung Chi Rd., Taipei, 110 Taiwan
All rights reserved except as specified below.
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
license document, but changing it is forbidden.
The licenses for most software are designed to take away your
freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the ARPHIC PUBLIC
LICENSE specifically permits and encourages you to use this
software, provided that you give the recipients all the rights that
we gave you and make sure they can get the modifications of this
Throughout this License, "Font" means the TrueType fonts "AR PL
Mingti2L", "AR PL KaitiM" (BIG-5 character set) and "AR PL
SungtiL", "AR PL KaitiM" (GB character set) which are originally
distributed by Arphic, and the derivatives of those fonts created
through any modification including modifying glyph, reordering
glyph, converting format, changing font name, or adding/deleting
some characters in/from glyph table.
"PL" means "Public License".
"Copyright Holder" means whoever is named in the copyright or
copyrights for the Font.
"You" means the licensee, or person copying, redistributing or
modifying the Font.
"Freely Available" means that you have the freedom to copy or
modify the Font as well as redistribute copies of the Font under
the same conditions you received, not price. If you wish, you can
charge for this service.
1. Copying & Distribution
You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of this Font in any
medium, without restriction, provided that you retain this license
file (ARPHICPL.TXT) unaltered in all copies.
You may otherwise modify your copy of this Font in any way,
including modifying glyph, reordering glyph, converting format,
changing font name, or adding/deleting some characters in/from
glyph table, and copy and distribute such modifications under the
terms of Section 1 above, provided that the following conditions
a) You must insert a prominent notice in each modified file stating
how and when you changed that file.
b) You must make such modifications Freely Available as a whole to
all third parties under the terms of this License, such as by
offering access to copy the modifications from a designated
place, or distributing the modifications on a medium customarily
used for software interchange.
c) If the modified fonts normally reads commands interactively when
run, you must cause it, when started running for such
interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you
provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute the Font
under these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy
of this License.
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Font,
and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works. Therefore,
mere aggregation of another work not based on the Font with the
Font on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring
the other work under the scope of this License.
3. Condition Subsequent
You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Font except
as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to
copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Font will automatically
retroactively void your rights under this License. However,
parties who have received copies or rights from you under this
License will keep their licenses valid so long as such parties
remain in full compliance.
You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to copy,
modify, sublicense or distribute the Font. These actions are
prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by
copying, modifying, sublicensing or distributing the Font, you
indicate your acceptance of this License and all its terms and
5. Automatic Receipt
Each time you redistribute the Font, the recipient automatically
receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute
or modify the Font subject to these terms and conditions. You may
not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of
the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing
compliance by third parties to this License.
If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent
issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order,
agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this
License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this
License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously
your obligations under this License and any other pertinent
obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Font
at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit
royalty-free redistribution of the Font by all those who receive
copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you
could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely
from distribution of the Font.
If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable
under any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is
intended to apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply
in other circumstances.
7. NO WARRANTY
BECAUSE THE FONT IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY
FOR THE FONT, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT
WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS OR OTHER
PARTIES PROVIDE THE FONT "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE
FONT IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE FONT PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE
COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.
8. DAMAGES WAIVER
UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING, IN NO
EVENT WILL ANY COPYRIGHTT HOLDERS, OR OTHER PARTIES WHO MAY COPY,
MODIFY OR REDISTRIBUTE THE FONT AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO
YOU FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR
EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE
FONT (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS
INTERRUPTION), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDERS OR OTHER PARTIES HAVE BEEN
ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
The FreeType Project
FreeType c/o David Turner
32 rue de Tolbiac
Dear Mr. Turner:
This is to notify you that Apple owns the following patents:
FR 90 05712
A copy of the patents are enclosed for your review.
Apple believes that each of these patent claims subject matter
which is essential to implementing a TrueType rasterizing engine.
Accordingly, a license under these patents appears to be needed by
your organization in view of your product FreeType, version 1.2.
Please contact me to discuss potential licensing arrangements.
APPLE COMPUTER INC.
Helene Plotka Workman
Bla, Bla, Bla ...