[Scribus] Re: GPLed fonts

Marvin Dickens marvindickens
Mon Apr 18 18:07:39 CEST 2005

On Monday 18 April 2005 01:33 am, Craig Ringer wrote:
> 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.


A - D are, as you stated, what should be taken away from this discussion. I 
might add (Depends on your point of view...) that it's never a good idea to 
use gpl fonts to produce internal company documents of any kind.  



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