On Sat, Apr 07, 2018 at 10:44:41PM +0200, Alexander Ploumistos wrote:
I doubt most of you know or care about George Douros' family of fonts,
as almost all of them are quite niche. However, there is one font in
particular, Symbola, that a number of users and packagers care for,
since it follows closely all the Unicode additions and improvements.
A few of weeks ago, the creator of the fonts took down his web page
and along with a message about the site being under reconstruction,
there is now this:
"Software on this site is free strictly for personal, non-commercial use."
In the past, in lieu of a license, he had this piece of text:
"Fonts and documents in this site are not pieces of property or
merchandise items; they carry no trademark, copyright, license or
other market tags; they are free for any use."
The previous wording essentially put the fonts in the Public Domain -
perfectly acceptable for inclusion in Fedora.
That change raised some red flags, so I contacted him about it and we
exchanged a couple of messages. Nothing is set in stone yet, but some
time soon he is going to upload a whole new license text (hopefully in
English), probably something custom-made. Along with the fonts, there
will probably be some sort of software, hence its mention. Apparently
he is not hostile to linux distros redistributing his fonts, but he
took issue when I pointed him to our licensing pages and he did call
redistributors and font web sites "license pushers" (at times he is a
bit temperamental like that). I asked him if the new license will
cover redistribution in a distro context specifically, but he has not
replied yet (I suspect he is away on Easter holidays).
With all that in mind and while I wait for the license text, I have a
- Am I right to assume that "free strictly for personal,
non-commercial use" is incompatible with our guidelines?
Yes. Any restrictions
on commercial use are incompatible with general
- If it is indeed incompatible, would trying to convince him to
a dual license scheme be the best course of action?
You know this probably better.
Have you tried explaining why we have
the requirements we have, to preserve the freedom to use packages, etc?
- If the new license prohibits us from distributing the fonts, do we
need to drop the packages from Fedora or can we continue to use their
We can continue to use them. With fonts the
"degradation" over time is
small (mostly we'd be missing new additions), so it should be OK to
have the frozen version for many years.
- Finally, if everything fails, is there a suitable and equivalent
replacement for Symbola?