[Scribus] Re: GPLed fonts
Mon Apr 18 07:33:01 CEST 2005
Gregory Pittman wrote:
> A lot of this is quite absurd.
Now that, I can agree with.
> I think the only question about the use of a GPL'd font has to do
> with the software that uses that font software, e.g., Scribus.
I don't personally agree, much as I wish I could. On the other hand, the
questions "does it matter" and "will anybody actually care" should be
considered. That aside, being careful is usually wise.
> I have no doubt that a very clear legal distinction can be made
> between the software that renders a document and the creative aspect
> of the document -- its design, layout, the verbal content of the text
> that may have been rendered in one kind of font or another. What you
> in a way are trying to suggest is that the GPL has extended itself to
> the letters of the alphabet -- I really don't think that anyone gets
> the rights to the alphabet.
Not at all. The issue being discussed was largely with font embedding,
where the issue is the font code it self not its visual appearance.
> All of the nail-biting going on is very much in line with the kind of
> FUD that Microsoft likes to stir up when it talks about how bad
> non-proprietary licenses are. What really gripes Microsoft is that
> the old days of simply stealing bits and chunks of others' code and
> then copyrighting it doesn't seem so easy anymore.
I think we just strayed into reading-too-much-slashdot territory
personally. There has been a discussion of the technical issues of
whether the GPL /might/ apply to documents that use GPL fonts under some
circumstances. I don't see how FUD entered into it anywhere - unless you
are referring to the supremely enlightened discussion on Slashdot,
rather than the conversation on this list. I may not have peppered my
posts sufficiently with "but the chances are the authors don't care"
etc, but I thought it fairly darn obvious really.
My personal view out of all this:
(a) There might be a technical issue with the license and font embedding
under some circumstances - no lawyers have popped up to say
(b) Chances are nobody cares, and even if they do the chance of action
on it seems utterly minute
(c) Keeping people informed isn't a bad idea anyway, so long as it's not
alarmist and stupid (see: Slashdot).
(d) People shouldn't be using software licenses for other works without
careful consideration of the actual effects.
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