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Re: Copyleft font licensing

> On Thu, Dec 16, 2004 at 11:20:06AM +0100, Florian Weimer wrote:
> > 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.)

I should add...

There's a simple trick which allows source code to be included with a
binary, regardless of the form of the source code.  It relies on several
qualities of binaries and of zip files:

[*] binaries have an internal structure, such that content appended to
the end can typically be ignored.  [Sometimes this requires creating a
section of some sort to "contain" the following content.]

[*] zip files have a directory which appears at the end of the zip file.

Essentially, you write a zip file where the first entry is simply your
raw binary (uncompressed, with no local file header), and the remaining
entries are your sources.  There's enough information in the central
directory -- at the end of the file -- to extract those sources.


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