Re: Help with licensing questions

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2009/2/15 Stephen Hartke <hartke@xxxxxxxxx>:
> I think that the license of my font _should_ be driven by the format,

It seems that when the format "source files" of a font are "source
code" then this triggers an automatic, hypnotic, response to use the

However, licensing is really a political choice, not a technical one;
which is to say, license choices are driven by politics.

IMHO, AIUI, the OFL is intended for designers who don't want to deal
with the complexity of the GPL and are new to free software; but if
you are convinced that sources ought to be available and your font
ought to always remain free, and you don't mind providing sources,
then the OFL seems a strange choice to me. You get the ability to
remix the font with other OFL fonts, but I'm not sure how useful that
is in practice.

> If someone makes a derivative font by modifying the sources and distributes
> it, then I want them to be required to distribute their modified sources,
> just as the GPL requires.  It doesn't seem to me that the OFL would require
> this.

OFL doesn't require sources, it just recommends them.

This means OFL fonts can be proprietorised; for example, they can be
pushed through a program like (proprietary Mac OS X
tool) to extend them, but the interpolation masters are not required
to be distributed with the font, nor are formats required to be
transparent/freely available. GPLv3 fixes these problems.

> If however someone modifies the OTF file directly using FontForge, then
> using the GPL is rather nonsensical since there is no source.  In that case,
> the OFL seems to be the perfect license.
> I don't see how either license by itself accomplishes my goals.

Dual licensing is not very good for downstream users, because they
fork the project when a downstream only uses one of the licenses.

I think GPL+FontException (and a contact details so you can be
contacted when a better "Font GPL" is prepared) is the best thing for
this project.


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