Re: [Fedora-legal-list] Re: can Libertine fonts be embedded in non-gpl application?

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On 09/19/2009 02:14 PM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 09/19/2009 08:17 PM, Brandon Casey wrote:
>> I am interested in embedding the Libertine font within an application at
>> work, so that this application can produce documents using the Libertine
>> font.  The target systems will not have the Libertine fonts installed. 
>> I know I can distribute the font files along side the application, but
>> it would be nice if that was not necessary.  The Libertine fonts are
>> licensed as GPL with a font embedding exception.  The wording of the
>> exception talks about embedding the fonts in a "document".  Would
>> embedding the font within the application (non-gpl) fall under the
>> category of "document", or would the compiled binary now fall under the
>> terms of the GPL (which my employer is not interested in)?
>> Any help or pointers to the appropriate source (possibly at Redhat) to
>> contact is appreciated.

I am assuming that you are referring to the "libertine" font family, and
not the "Liberation" font family.

The "Libertine" font family is dual licensed, available under either the
terms of the GPL with font exception or the OFL.

Now, based on what you've said above, I'm assuming that you would like
to embed the font into the application, and not simply bundle the font
as a separate file to be installed along with the application. At the
same time, you do not want the application to be affected by the GPL
license of the font.

It is my opinion (and IANAL) that the the GPL font exception would not
cover that use case. The OFL seems to be more permissive in this manner,
but I think that the application would need to be compatible with the
OFL licensing (and should you decide to go down that road, you should
retain counsel to determine whether or not that possibility is feasible).

A much cleaner solution would be to bundle the font along with the
application (and install it on the target systems), and use it under the
terms of the OFL.


Specifically, Question 1.5.

Hope that helps,


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