[cairo] Font licenses and embedding

Jon Smirl jonsmirl at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 11:38:25 PDT 2005

On 8/11/05, Bill Spitzak <spitzak at d2.com> wrote:
> You can't "inadvertantly GPL your document". What you could do is
> violate the copyright on the font. You may have to remove it from future
> distributions, and you could get sued for monetary damages.
> For the GPL this falls under the "agglomeration" clause. And I think
> providing the "source" of the font, rather than only the "compiled"
> images of the letters, seems much more in spirit of the GPL. Therefore
> such a document is *more* in agreement with the GPL than a printed page,
> and everybody agrees the printed page is ok, so therefore this must be
> ok as well.
> For commercial fonts it still seems that the usability of the font is
> very much restricted without the ability to copy it into a document. I
> would think the copyright restrictions would be that a person getting
> your document is not allowed to copy the font out of it and use it in
> their own documents.
> Jon Smirl wrote:
> > The issue of font licenses and font embedding has come up on the xorg
> > list. How is this handled with the PS/PDF backend for Cairo? I may
> > have GPL or commercial fonts on my system, how are the licenses dealt
> > with when the font gets embedded into the PS file?
> >
> > There needs to be some mechanism for the user to know what is going on
> > with the licenses and font embedding. You don' t want to accidentally
> > post a commercial font to the Internet or inadvertently GPL your
> > document.
> >

Ely Levy <elylevy-xserver <at> cs.huji.ac.il> writes:
> GPLing fonts means that every document that puts the fonts inside it
> would be GPLed as well (certain pdfs some level of ps and other kind of
> docs do that). that can cause major legal issues with articals or books
> someone decide to sell in pdf format.
> Ironicly enough it also mean that GFDL licensed doc using GPL fonts
> would break both GPL and GFDL (fun no?:)

Here's the thread going on in xorg.

It would help if someone who knows the exact legalities would
straighten everyone out.

Jon Smirl
jonsmirl at gmail.com

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