[Scribus] Re: GPLed fonts

Marvin Dickens marvindickens
Mon Apr 18 01:41:37 CEST 2005

On Sunday 17 April 2005 06:34 pm, Deb and Peter Zweck wrote:
> I think we need to make a distinction between font software and the font
> character on the page.

Using fonts in a document (With the exception of a text documents like 
mydoc.txt) embeds symbols that are inhereted from the font that composes the 
characters. In turn the font that composes the characters inherit the exact 
same symbols from the source code that compose the font when the source is 
compiled.  There is no way to disassociate font source code from font 
software from font characters unless the font is not embedded into the 
document, but is referenced. 
> The character on the page(or screen) is a product of the font software,
> and is not software in itself, and is no more a derivitive work than a
> Scribus document is a derivitive work of the Scribus software. 

Technically, that is not how it works.

> Even if a 
> font is embedded in a PDF it is still simply part of the software
> responsible for rendering a document. 

Not true. It is part of the source that composes the document that is
processed by whatever interpeter (In this case, Scribus) produces the visual 
and/or printed document.

> Surely the GPL would apply to the 
> font software itself not the font character as it appears on a page. If
> you created a new font (as in the software) from the GPL font, then that
> new font would be subject to the GPL.

That right.

> If you do consider a document using a GPL font is a derivitive work of
> that font then I believe you would have to look at all documents
> produced by Scribus or any other GPLed word/text processor, or any image
> produced with Gimp or Inkscape etc being a derivitive work. Wouldn't you?

That correct if a GPL font is involved. In the case of graphics, unless a font 
is involved, the image is a private work (That is, if it's not derived from a 
GPL'ed graphic image).

People need to understand the implications of the licenses that govern the 
software they chose to use.



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