[Scribus] GPL and fonts -- separating FUD from facts

Craig Ringer craig
Tue Apr 19 04:36:18 CEST 2005

On Mon, 2005-04-18 at 16:34 +0200, Tobias Hilbricht wrote:
> Am Montag, 18. April 2005 15:43 schrieb Andreas Vox:
> > 7. Distributing documents with embedded GPL'd fonts
> > For PDF documents play safe, don't embed.
> In this regard commercial fonts are more liberal than GPL-fonts, then:
> <http://www.myfonts.com/viewlicense?id=8>:
> \begin{citation}
>   Embedding of the Font-Software into electronic
>   documents or Internet pages is only permitted in a secured
>   read-only mode.  Licensee must ensure that recipients of
>   electronic documents or Internet pages cannot extract the
>   font software from such documents or use the embedded font
>   software for editing purposes or for the creation of new
>   documents.

I run into variants of that that make the font essentially unusable for
some publishing uses. Think about the following process:

User creates document
User creates PDF of document
User sends PDF to newspaper for printing as an ad
Newspaper embeds PDF in a page
Newspaper outputs page, including user PDF, as a PDF 
^^^^ Error, re-embedding font fails

I see this all the time and it drives me *nuts*. Some fonts are embedded
with some flag that Distiller obeys, meaning "may not be re-embedded".
It's a right PITA, but thankfully can be worked around.

In this case I don't think that license requires re-embedding to be
prevented, only extraction, but I could easily be wrong. I certainly run
into fonts that don't permit themselves to be re-embedded, anyway, and
in modern publishing workflows they're a real problem.

Craig Ringer

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