The Ubuntu font and a fresh look at open font licensing
Posted Oct 14, 2010 3:03 UTC (Thu) by rsidd
Parent article: The Ubuntu font and a fresh look at open font licensing
simply examining the names, a user would have no idea that the DejaVu family is related to Liberation.
Which is fine, since it is not related. The DejaVu family is a derivative of the Bitstream Vera family: it says so right on the project webpage.
The article makes no mention of Vera, which is odd since the Vera family was the first high-quality set of screen fonts available on Linux/X. (High-quality postscript fonts for printing existed earlier, but displayed poorly on the screen.)
The two most widely used licenses for free and open fonts are the Open Font License (OFL), created and stewarded by SIL International, and the General Public License (GPL) with the Font Exception clause.
The Bitstream Vera and DejaVu families -- surely the most widely used free fonts on linux systems -- use neither of these licenses. Vera uses something like the BSD/MIT license with a clause forbidding commercial distribution of the font by itself (bundling with software distributions that are sold is OK) and requiring derivatives to be named differently from "Vera". These requirements are carried on in DejaVu, with additional changes in DejaVu being in the public domain.
A rather sloppy article by LWN standards.
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