[Pkg-fonts-devel] Re: [Openfontlibrary] Re: [DejaVu-fonts] forming new maintenance team for MPH 2B Damase?

Victor Gaultney vtype at gaultney.org
Sun Feb 11 16:17:33 CET 2007

Everyone -

> Mark Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com> is the author and he released it
> into the public domain...

Far be it from me to discourage development of free fonts, but I don't think
Mark has the rights to release it into the public domain. In a quick look at
the font, I saw many font styles I recognised - including ones that are not
currently under free licenses. For example, the Sylheti Nagri glyphs are an
identical copy (node for node, coordinate for coordinate) of the Sylheti
font available from http://www.sylheti.org.uk/page5.html. That font is
freeware, but is not under public domain, or any FLOSS license.

I hate to sound like the font police, but this font is not legal, as it
contains copyrighted material from other fonts without any acknowledgement.
I'm not at all implying that Mark intentionally intended to breach
copyright, as it is particularly common in South Asia to find fonts that
have been copied with the copyright stripped out, replaced with public
domain. Mark may have copied glyphs from one of those fonts. I just think
someone ought to do a little more research to be sure that all the contents
are truly free. It may even be that some of Mark's sources could be
convinced to release OFL versions of their fonts!

If we want to get the typographic community's support behind free and open
source fonts, we have to prove to them that we honour copyright. Otherwise
all our arguments fall flat, and designers will run from FLOSS and the OFLB
like the plague. 


Victor Gaultney
SIL International

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