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Re: [Pkg-fonts-devel] About the licensing of URW Garamond No. 8

Khaled Hosny <khaledhosny@eglug.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 07:20:30PM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
>> Nicolas Spalinger <nicolas_spalinger@sil.org> wrote:
>> > BTW one of the goals we have in the Debian fonts team is to work to
>> > reduce the big duplication of fonts in various packages in our archive:
>> > there is no absolute need for every single piece of software to ship
>> > with its very own set of fonts... Sometimes it does but from a Debian
>> > perspective IMHO a dependency is much nicer. There is a lintian check
>> > for this too.
>> > 
>> > I do agree that GPL-compatibility is great and very desirable but fonts
>> > have a different set of requirements corresponding to their special
>> > status and usage scenarios.
>> Somehow, everyone thinks that they are special and therefore they
>> deserve annoying license terms.  We had this debate on debian-legal
>> before with the LPPL.  I am sure we will have it again.  I still have
>> zero sympathy for this view.
> Certainly, there are special cases that GPL can't cover, no matter how I
> like GPL, it isn't the cure of every issue.

If the special case is that you want to add annoying clauses, then,
yes, the GPL can not help you.  Generally, though, one of GPL, LGPL,
or MIT/Expat usually fits with people's desires.  Sometimes, you have
to add exceptions to the GPL, but you never have to add restrictions.

>> > and of course the trouble with defining what font sources are and
>> > how to properly satisfy the GPL requirement in this context.
>> There has been ample discussion on this topic on debian-legal for
>> years.  This is not actually difficult to figure out.  For some
>> reason, people think it is, but it is not.
>> If you do not want a source requirement in the license, then you do
>> not really want a copyleft license.  Otherwise, the copyleft becomes
>> almost, but not entirely, useless.
> The issue is, what to be consider as source for fonts? One working with
> FontLab would consider the FontLab file as source, but it is a
> proprietary binary format of no use without FontLab, actually the
> generated fonts is much more usable as source than it.

If changes to the font are made by modifying the FontLab file, then
the FontLab file is the source.  Just because FontLab is proprietary
does not mean that the source is not FontLab.  If the fonts are
changed by editing the generated fonts, then the source is the
generated fonts.

See.  That was not so hard.

Walter Landry

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