Adobe releases font under SIL license. Have you tried it?

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t3g
t3g
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se unió: 05/15/2011

Adobe just released one of their fonts under an SIL license which means it should be free software compatible. Have any of you tried it out yet?

https://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2012/08/source-sans-pro.html

Cyberhawk

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se unió: 07/27/2010

Would fonts even qualify as software? Is there an ethical issue about installing different fonts, even those that are not under the SIL or a simliar license?

MagicFab
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se unió: 12/13/2010

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On 08/06/2012 05:10 PM, name at domain wrote:
> Would fonts even qualify as software? Is there an ethical issue about installing different fonts,
even those that are not under the SIL or a simliar license?

Most documentation released under a free license can't be re-edited and
reproduced freely unless all its fonts are also published under a free
license too.

Fonts that are not published under a free license can't be redistributed
freely and included in a GNU/Linux distribution either.

I'd say the above are the top reasons for preferring free fonts, but
there are many more, much like software (IMO).

F.

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Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

Fonts are not software. Nevertheless, I believe they fall under the same category because they support your work (writing). As a consequence, their licenses should grant the four freedom:

  • The freedom to use the font, for any purpose (e.g., you do not want to use an Adobe font whose license forbids you to criticize Adobe with it).
  • The freedom to change it so it looks as you wish (e.g., if you do not like how a character looks, you should be able to edit it).
  • The freedom to redistribute the fonts so you can help your neighbor (because sharing is good!).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (by doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes).
Michał Masłowski

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se unió: 05/15/2010

> Fonts are not software.

They literally are for US copyright purposes (i.e. scalable fonts are
"programs" describing how to draw a bitmap; bitmap fonts are not
copyrightable).

I don't consider this an important issue for deciding what is software:
I consider all works for practical purposes which are represented as
bits (thus can be freely copied and modified) to be software. "For
practical purposes" is from the user's point of view, we won't know that
something isn't for a practical purpose unless we know all future users
of it (there are interesting practical uses of literature). There is
nothing specific about programs for Turing-complete universal machines
for the user's freedom.

> The freedom to use the font, for any purpose (e.g., you do not want to
> use an Adobe font whose license forbids you to criticize Adobe with
> it).

Unsure if there are real examples of such terms, could be more
convincing. There probably are licenses forbidding embedding fonts in
documents, although this practically is a restriction of the freedom to
distribute copies (another reason to consider them all just freedom).

> The freedom to change it so it looks as you wish (e.g., if you do not
> like how a character looks, you should be able to edit it).

And to "study how it works", so in my opinion the source of meta-fonts
(i.e. fonts output by an input-less program, e.g. Computer Modern has
entire font families made by changing 62 parameters in source files)
must be available for it to respect this freedom of the user.

Changing fonts is more important for non-English languages.

> The freedom to redistribute the fonts so you can help your neighbor
> (because sharing is good!).

The OFL has a pointless "restriction" of it, requring including a
program with the font when selling it. I have read several reports of
similar issues in non-font licenses.

> The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others
> (by doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit
> from your changes).

This freedom can be practically restricted also by using
GPL-incompatible font licenses. These fonts cannot be merged with
GPL-licensed programs, what would be useful in case of meta-fonts (they
might e.g. contain nontrivial numerical algorithms).

(These two meta-font-related cases are limited by no program newer than
MetaFont, which outputs bitmap fonts, supporting this paradigm, and
nearly no font designer making useful meta-fonts (e.g. Latin Modern had
its source regenerated multiple times from "binaries"), I believe this
to be possible to change. I can make a narrow sans-serif typewriter
Computer Modern derivative in several hours, this isn't possible with
typical fonts available only in e.g. the TrueType format.)

There are additional reasons to use only free fonts in free cultural
works:

- different paper formats require relayout when printing, this needs
font metrics
- changes in text might require glyphs not embedded in the original
version

so nonfree fonts restrict the freedom to adapt works using them.

Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

Thank you for your insight. Observe that the FSF considers moot the OFL's obligation to distribute a software program because a simple "hello world" satisfies this requirement.

Besides, I do no get your point about the "freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others": a license can be both free according to the FSF and incompatible with the GPL.

Michał Masłowski

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I am a translator!

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se unió: 05/15/2010

> Thank you for your insight. Observe that the FSF considers moot the
> OFL's obligation to distribute a software program because a simple
> "hello world" satisfies this requirement.

Yes, this causes no practical problems. (I don't know why would anyone
explicitly choose such a requirement.)

> Besides, I do no get your point about the "freedom to distribute
> copies of your modified versions to others": a license can be both
> free according to the FSF and incompatible with the GPL.

It can be both, the FSF doesn't consider license incompatibility a
freedom problem (unless a program cannot be distributed due to this), I
see no way to avoid it in all cases. It just restricts possibly useful
uses of the work not expected by the original authors.

t3g
t3g
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/15/2011
t3g
t3g
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/15/2011

Speaking of fonts, I saw recently that due to the GPLv2 license tied to the Liberation fonts, there has been some talk about moving away from them because of the license's restrictions.

Instead, they may move to using Croscore fonts (Arimo, Tinos, Cousine) which are not only metrically compatible with Liberation, but are improved versions and are under an SIL license. There have also been talks about newer versions of Liberation being based off of Croscore.

Pretty good breakdown here from a recent story on June 19, 2012: http://lwn.net/Articles/502371/