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Re: GNOME Font Copyright

On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, J.B. Nicholson-Owens wrote:
> I asked if my understanding of the exchange was correct--GNOME
> distributes Bitstream's non-free Vera fonts and in exchange Bitstream
> eventually supplies DFSG-free software.

You're asking the wrong people then, since (as far as I know) none of
-legal were involved in the bargaining, we can't answer that question.
Howver, I personally would be very surprised if there was a quid pro
quo involved.

> that clause might be the only clause keeping Bitstream's license from
> being a Free Software license.

Could you expand on your reasoning why that clause would keep
Bitstream's license from being a Free Software license while it would
qualify under the DFSG?

> On a personal level, that clause's uniqueness looks like a potential
> pain in the ass to comply with because I find it handy to distribute
> individual programs for a fee. 

So just remember to distribute the fonts with Gnome. Anytime you're
selling stuff you should (probably) be retaining legal counsel to comb
through the licenses and accertain the legality of what you are doing.

>> I'm not sure I follow your argument about the software (well, fonts
>> in this case) being DFSG "free" but not being Free Software.
> "Free Software" is the term I understand to refer to the GNU
> project's term.
> "DFSG-free" is a different term I understand to refer to the Debian
> Free Software Guidelines.

That's precisely my question. Why does the inability to sell these
fonts alone make them not Free Software (while they remain DFSG "free")?

As far as I can tell, the inability to sell them alone does not
restrict any of the 4 freedoms required for software to be free

  * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
    needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for
  * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
    (freedom 2).
  * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
    to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3).
    Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Don Armstrong    

1: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
I leave the show floor, but not before a pack of caffeinated Jolt gum
is thrust at me by a hyperactive girl screaming, "Chew more! Do more!"
The American will to consume more and produce more personified in a
stick of gum. I grab it. -- Chad Dickerson


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