[Openfontlibrary] Re: [OFL-discuss] Why the OFL is the best Free
dave at lab6.com
Fri Nov 3 02:06:17 PST 2006
On 03/11/06, MJ Ray <mjr at phonecoop.coop> wrote:
> "Dave Crossland" <dave at lab6.com> wrote: [...]
> > But despite these unusual features of a Free license, the OFL is
> > nevertheless still widely considered Free (FSF, OSI, DFSG, GNOME, KDE,
> > FreeDesktop.org, etc etc) and is copyleft. [...]
> The last released version of OFL does not follow the Debian Free
> Software Guidelines
> partly because it uses copyright restrictions to
> enforce a sort of "super-trademark" for the font name in ways which,
> frankly, are a pain for making ready-to-eat font packages from OFL'd
There is homeostasis between attracting premier font developers, and
conveniencing free software distributors, though, which personally
being a designer I find a useful balance.
> This is similar to some problems in old LaTeX licences which
> have been resolved in recent years. For further explanations, see
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/01/msg00454.html and other
> messages in that thread. OFL's lead developer thinks it follows DFSG,
> despite all the debian developers explaining why it does not.
> Hopefully, the new version of the OFL will make it clear that you can
> mention the Reserved Font Name for compatibility and configuration, as
> long as one does not claim that a modified font *is* that named font.
The OFL does not contain the innovative copyleft technique of
"automatic upgrade" I mentioned earlier in this thread. This means
that fixes in later versions of the license will not automatically
apply, and if the copyright holder is at that time uncontactable, the
free font will be obsoleted. Not good.
When is the next review period?
> There seems to be some sort of delay in producing the new OFL, sadly.
Yes, I'd kind of forgotten that this wasn't officially out yet... The
http://scripts.sil.org/ofl page says this was due out in September...
> In the meantime, please stop claiming OFL follows the DFSG and at
> least acknowledge the problems with its current Reserved Font Name
> It would be good to have One True Licence for fonts,
> but this version of OFL shouldn't be it.
In your opinion, what is the best Free Font license for me use today?
> Hope that helps,
Thanks for taking the time to discuss licensing issues with me; I'm
still trying to wrap my head around everything :-)
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