[OpenFontLibrary] GPL fonts! (Was: Open Font Library submissions)

Nicolas Spalinger nicolas_spalinger at sil.org
Tue Nov 11 11:33:22 PST 2008

> It is possible a font designer would *choose* to license under GPL
> without font exception.  Not that I know of any actual examples, it's
> always just been ignorance, but it's conceivable.

Conceivable yes, desirable for end-users, IMHO I don't think so...
I imagine the user choosing such a font via the font menu say in a text
editing environment, typing away, then printing to PDF. => technically
his content is then licensed under the GPL, he would not make a
conscious choice about that so it's really less-than-ideal.

I think he would find it hard to satisfy the requirements of the GPL
when distributing his document. That's another practical problem.

And this somewhat reminds me of the controversy which lead to the
creation of the GPL Bison exception.

If an author chooses to release rights on a content he has produced to
give it maximal audience and to keep it from getting locked away (which
I highly recommend BTW), let him pick the appropriate content license.

>     the largest collection I know of are the URW fonts that are
>     distributed as part of Ghostscript, which predate the "font
>     exception."
> A form of the GPL font exception appears in the PFB's of most of the URW
> font packages I have seen, although whether it was legally added, I
> don't know.  Aladdin and URW don't answer on these topics, in my
> experience :(.
> karl

Nicolas Spalinger, NRSI volunteer

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