[Openfontlibrary] Non-Copyleft Openfontlibrary
nicolas_spalinger at sil.org
Tue Nov 4 11:13:30 PST 2008
Ed Trager wrote:
> Hi, Chris,
>> Releasing a font under GPL or OFL license simply ensures the font can
>> freely be used or modified by anyone and that no one can claim
>> proprietary or commercial rights.
>> If somebody does want a similar font to sell under a commercial license
>> I'm perfectly willing to develop one for them for a fair price.
> Regarding "no one can claim proprietary or commercial rights," I
> believe that is actually not quite the case under U.S. copyright law,
> as I understand it. As the original font author, I believe that you
> yourself have the right to sell your own font under as many different
> licenses as you want, commercial as well as FLOSS.
> "Dual Licensing" appears to be becoming fairly common in the FLOSS
> software world. Commercial entities often ask for a commercial
> license from FLOSS vendors because their lawyers like that better, I
> guess. Maybe it is the liability thing -- a commercial entity does
> not want to be accused of "stealing" someone's software or font, open
> source or otherwise, so they want to negotiate payment for use.
> So you actually don't have to develop a separate font -- you can use
> the same one you have already developed and sell it if you have
> buyers. For something like Jomolhari, I'm sure there is a market.
> Best - Ed
Indeed, authors certainly retain the rights to their creation and can
release and/or reserve them using multiple licenses for a particular
body of work depending on their goals.
The OFL FAQ has sections seeking to make that clear for designers
choosing to use the OFL collaboration model along with variations for
certain audiences or specific needs:
Question: 2.11 Do I, as an author, have to identify any Reserved Font
Answer: No, but we strongly encourage you to do so. This is to avoid
confusion between your work and Modified versions. You may, however,
give certain trusted parties the right to use any of your Reserved Font
Names through separate written agreements. For example, even if "Foobar"
is a RFN, you could write up an agreement to give company "XYZ" the
right to distribute a modified version with a name that includes
"Foobar". This allows for freedom without confusion.
Question: 5.3 Does this license restrict the rights of the Copyright
Answer: No. The Copyright Holder(s) still retain(s) all the rights to
their creation; they are only releasing a portion of it for use in a
specific way. For example, the Copyright Holder(s) may choose to release
a 'basic' version of their font under the OFL, but sell a restricted
'enhanced' version. Only the Copyright Holder(s) can do this.
Also some designers are commissioned (and paid!) to do custom open fonts
design/engineering that will then benefit a larger community through
open licensing. One example that springs to mind now is the Conakry
project by Evertype: http://www.evertype.com/fonts/nko/ but I'm sure
others on our community list here can think of similar examples. I'm
fairly confident there will be more :-)
Nicolas Spalinger, NRSI volunteer
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 252 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
Url : http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/openfontlibrary/attachments/20081104/f59f1eb7/attachment.pgp
More information about the Openfontlibrary