Re: OFL license analysis
On Tue, Jan 31, 2006 at 01:15:06AM -0800, Mark Rafn wrote:
> A human can tell the difference if he bothers to look. System software
> does not change behavior based on this human identification.
Well, it might: if the software uses the "human identification" to select
which font to use when rendering a document, it's no longer merely
human identification--it's functional, too.
That raises an odd (tangental) question, though. What if third-party
software scanned output intended for the user; for example, refusing to
run or changing behavior if the name of the software it prints isn't
"foo"? Now it's impossible to make a functional drop-in equivalent
without identifying differently. Same problem with any number of things
required under the assumption that they're not functional: you could
scan "strings" output for "(c) Glenn Maynard" if you don't like my code,
or refuse to run if the GPL blurb is detected if you want to hinder GPL
In practice, the only reasonable approach is probably intent. It's
pretty clear that font licensors actually do want to prohibit me from
modifying a font, distributing it, and having it drop-in over the
original. That's a non-free goal.