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Re: [Pkg-fonts-devel] Bug#492623: ttf-liberation: Trademark prevents modifications

Paul Wise wrote:
On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 2:44 PM, Faidon Liambotis <paravoid@debian.org> wrote:

And much more importantly, a similar clause (albeit only for the "reserved
font name") is present in the Open Font License, under which most of the
free fonts are and which is accepted in Debian main.

The OFL is a bit different, as far as I understand it, even format
shifting (converting from source .sfd to binary .ttf) triggers the
renaming clause.

Hi Paul,

Well, changing formats is really understood as something different than building from source. Sure, you can read something different into it and stretch the meaning of the words but the intent of the license is that since format conversions are very likely to introduce significant changes (changing the types of splines, loosing some elements in the conversion process) *it is* actually creating a derivative that should be renamed to *prevent collisions* when redistributing it. This is again to avoid documents which may render unexpectedly why fonts who advertise themselves with the name of upstream although they don't behave like upstream.

To quote the relevant OFL bit:
"Modified Version" refers to any derivative made by adding to, deleting,
or substituting -- in part or in whole -- any of the components of the
Original Version, by changing formats or by porting the Font Software to a new environment.

A lot of research and community review has gone into finding this tricky nexus between modifiability and artistic integrity. Seems like it's doing what it is intended to seeing the growing numbers of fonts designers trusting this license and the growing number of open fonts making their way into the distros. I believe we have a much better situation now than before. Anybody remember Luxi?


Nicolas Spalinger

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