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Re: Licensing Fonts

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Licensing Fonts
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 01:12:06 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Geoffrey Washburn" <> writes:

> I'm currently in the process of developing some new fonts using
> There were a couple points that I was unclear on when it comes to
> programs that are fonts under FSF licenses.
> 1) If I GPL the source code to my font, does embedding or
> referencing the resulting binary created when the font is rendered
> and/or traced count as statically or dynamically linking?

Neither.  But the resulting document is a derived work of the fonts.

> Should I use the LGPL if I want people to be able to use the binary
> form of my font in any document they like?

The LGPL still demands that any recipient of the document must be able
to replace the letters in the resulting document with newer versions.
This would be completely impossible if the metrics changed.

> 2) If I GPL the source code to my font, am I allowed to retain a
> separate copyright claim over the name of the font?

You can't copyright a name.  You can at best trademark it.  The LPPL
does the naming restriction by binding the permission to the condition
that the name not be changed.  This does not work by copyrighting the
name, but by only refraining from exercising the full power of
copyright over the work when certain conditions are met.  Neither the
LGPL nor the GPL allow any additional restrictions to be placed on

> That is. may I give others the right to produce any derivative fonts
> they like, but require that they must name them differently?

Sounds like your goals are not really compatible with either the GPL
or the LGPL.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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