[Scribus] Re: GPLed fonts

Louis Desjardins louisdesjardins
Tue Apr 19 14:39:35 CEST 2005

>I wish I had never started this thread. I should have kept it to
>myself and avoided the grief. My days of posting to this list are over.

Hi Marvin,

I think this is sad. Maybe you will want to reconsider this. If you 
do, and if you change your mind, I think it's only going to be good 
for lots of people in this list.

Obviously you didn't like how Greg has put it and I leave it up to 
him to add whatever he feels needed, if anything. On my part, I found 
the last part of his post more humoristic than anything else (but 
this is really a very subjective statement). I aknowledge it can be 
seen otherwise.

On the other hand, and not to excuse anything or anybody, you 
definitely raised an important question that is worth discussing. 
Also because this is all part of a revolution, it gets to some heat 
point where many people, I'm in that group, realize they have to 
deepened their knowledge of the Linux world, including licences. From 
my point of view, the GPLed fonts are a totally new issue. I was 
absolutely not aware of this before and if I can't say I'm happy 
knowing this, I have to say at the same that I am actually happy to 
know this *before* it gets me or anybody else in trouble.

At the same time, I still have lots of difficulties - and on that 
part I agree with Greg's point of view - imagining the issue to be 
ever raised in court. Please let me explain. I've browsed the 
internet to try to find more info on that only to realize they're 
seem to be two main positions around this issue. Warning : this is 
not the result of an in-depth research, only first impressions. But 
it gives some idea, I think.

1. Lots of fonts are created and released under the GPL. The majority 
of those seems non latin fonts. My understanding is tools like 
Scribus and other Open Source projects are opening a wide spectrum of 
new possibilities to lots of people in many countries and the need 
for fonts is increasing. My assumption is they use the GPL because 
they think it's the very best licence for this kind of work. Maybe 
also because the GPL is now known enough so people have identified 
Open Source to GPL, freedom with GPL.

2. The other position is more technical and is raised by people like 
you, who are concerned by the legal threat a GPLed font may cause. 
You are not alone. In the Tex project, they have created a special 
licence for fonts, because of this issue.

The first group seems to be unaware of the kind of danger group #2 is raising.

But really, how can they be aware of something they just don't have 
in mind, being themselves the font creators? Don't they want more and 
more people using those fonts. Aren't they creating them with this, 
and this only, intention? GPL = Freedom is their assumption. Freedom 
has not much to do with the fear of a legal threat. One would ask: 
"What are you talking about?". Moreover when using a GPL font! So 
yes, from that perspective, there is room for calling this an 
"absurd" situation. On my part, I have no better word for describing 

Sorry for this very long post. I also aknowledge this is not 
specifically Scribus related like Craig very clearly said it. But 
it's clearly a DTP issue.

Good day to all.



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