[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Copyleft font licensing

I've been asked for advice regarding copyleft ("GPL-like") font

Without special exceptions, the GPL is not a suitable license for
fonts because it is common practice to embed fonts (or subsets of
fonts) into PDF documents (and other document formats).  In this
scenario, the GPL would require distribution of complete source code,
which is impractical.  This is true even if the outline font itself is
the preferred form for making modifications because it defeats the
purpose of subsetting.  (The written offer option is not really
feasible, either.)

Maybe fonts could be licensed under the GPL plus the following

| As a special exception, if a document file embeds Type 1, TrueType,
| OpenType or bitmap fonts derived from this source code, these fonts
| do not by themselves cause the resulting document file to be covered
| by the GNU General Public License.  This exception does not however
| invalidate any other reason why the document file might be covered
| by the GNU General Public License.

(This is modeled after the GNAT exception for the GPL.)

This does not deal with artwork that contains outlines derived from
the font (which was often used as a way around embedding, which is a
pretty recent development).  Perhaps today, embedding can be used in
such cases, too?

Reply to: