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figlet fonts - GPL-ok?

About a year ago I was hacking on a curses CD player app (groovycd,
which is GPL) which features a large ascii-art numeral display.  I
added the capability for multiple fonts, and converted a few Figlet
fonts[1] that look good there.

Trouble is I can't find a license statement for any of these fonts.
They were contributed to Figlet ("may be freely copied and
distributed", but not DFSG-free), but they are not actually in the
figlet tarball -- rather, in a 'contributed.tar.gz' from the same FTP
sites.[2]  In fact they do not even have copyright statements.

I've tried contacting the authors of the fonts I want to use -- nothing
but bounced mail.  So I don't know the intentions of the original
contributors -- although I rather suspect they wouldn't care.

Further complicating things, I know in at least one case the artist[3]
did not contribute his font to Figlet explicitly -- he posted it on
alt.ascii-art as a set of glyphs back in '94 (IIRC), and one of the
Figlet authors picked it up and converted it.

Can I assume that a font posted to Usenet in generic form by its author
can be modified and distributed with a GPL program?

What about the other fonts?  They are currently being distributed on
non-dfsg terms, but none of them have explicit copyright statements, so
can they be considered public domain?


[1] "banner3", "basic", "colossal", "nancyj", "poison", "univers"
[2] ftp://ftp.plig.org/pub/figlet/fonts/contributed.tar.gz
[3] Normand Veilleux, a legend in the ascii art world.
    The font in question, "univers", is the best of the lot.

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