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From Dave Fisher <dave2w...@comcast.net>
Subject Re: Source form Re: What constitutes a source release? - The Source for Fonts
Date Sat, 04 May 2013 16:59:53 GMT
Dennis,

This is very intriguing information. Thanks!

Regards,
Dave

On May 4, 2013, at 9:18 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:

> This is off-topic with regard to the original question, which appears to be resolved.
 Here's some insight into where the sources of fonts are (or are not).
> 
> On May 1, Adobe announced contribution of their CFF rasterizer to FreeType.  (The rasterizer
is not a font authoring tool, it is a font rendering tool, but stay with me here.)  This is
a significant contribution: <http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2013/05/adobe-contributes-cff-rasterizer-to-freetype.html>.
 (Freetype itself is dual-licensed, including under a BSD-style with credit clause.)
> 
> Adobe has also created some open-source fonts under the "Source" family name.  They are
available on SourceForge: (<https://sourceforge.net/projects/sourcesans.adobe/> and
<https://sourceforge.net/projects/sourcecodepro.adobe/>.  These are under Open Font
License 1.1.
> What's important is each font release is available in two forms: FontsOnly (under 1MB
in Zip) and SourceFiles (multiple MB in Zip).  That software has LICENSE.txt, build scripts,
READMEs, release notes, etc., and depends on a program named makeotf.  
> 
> Makeotf,for making OpenType Font (binary) files, is part of the Adobe Font Development
Kit for OpenType.  Makeotf is a console program available for Windows and Mac OSX. The Development
Kit is provided as freeware under a typical freeware EULA for proprietary software, including
export limitations.  (I don't know whether there is an open-source equivalent.)
> 
> So, there are definitely preferred source forms and OpenType Fonts are definitely binaries
that are made by a compilation process.  
> 
> I notice that the source distribution of the two Adobe fonts include a ton of GLIF (Glyph
Interchange Format) files.  These are XML files that specify glyph outline contours.  (Some
of them appear to have been created with Robofont, a proprietary product.) GLIF is defined
as part of the Unified Font Object (UFO) initiative. 
> 
> - Dennis
> 
> PS: THE OFF-OFF-TOPIC PART.  I do not know what posesses folks to deliver the compiled
fonts under an Open Font License and not provide access to the sources.  It doesn't quite
fit with the community-development purpose behind creation of the OFT license.  In any case,
the license permits derivative works and it doesn't distinguish between source and binary
font files, nor does it require availability of a source form.  
>   If it was me, withholding the source might be because I was jealous of forks of my
designs, although there is nothing to inhibit reverse-engineering of font source.  There is
a non-confusion requirement and perpetuation of license condition, though, no matter how a
derivative is made.    
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org] 
> Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 08:52
> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: RE: Source form Re: What constitutes a source release?
> 
> The font (and the executable) case nagged at me, so I researched the topic a little more.
> 
> There is an useful account of the situation with fonts (in the US, specifically):
> <http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&id=UNESCO_Font_Lic>.
> 
> For fonts having open-source licenses, copyright applies to them as software.  Courts
have upheld that font files are software.  (Attaching an open-source license to those is perhaps
more in the manner of an EULA, just as for binary executables.)
> 
> In my reading, that does not make either binary executables or font files into source
code.
> 
> - Dennis
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org] 
> Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 08:25
> To: legal-discuss@apache.org; 'Santiago Gala'
> Subject: RE: Source form Re: What constitutes a source release?
> 
> The GPL goes on and on about this, as does discussion around the Open Source Definition.
 Also, the license will apply to copyrightable subject matter, and that is a consideration
too.
> 
> Basically, the use of preferred form is an instruction to the contributor, that the source
code be the form that the contributor uses as the form at which the contribution is *expressed*
and maintained.   
> 
> The contributor is not supposed to add impediments (including any form of obfuscation
or use of an intermediate form that is not what the contributor uses to maintain the contribution
-- now what isn't the original work of authorship).  
> 
> There are cases where the form licensed is mechanically produced and downstream contributors
of derivatives end up having to work with that form since an upstream contributor did not
satisfy the source-contribution condition.  (HTML pages are an example, the text-format tables
used in spelling checkers is another.  In the first case, an HTML page might be easily maintained
independently, in the second case, only painfully.
> 
> There is a problem with assumed tool chains, and tool-specific artifacts (e.g., Visual
C++ project files, and make files that depend on unique features of a particular processor),
but that seems to be an issue independent of this particular one.
> 
> Now that there are compilers for custom languages that now emit JavaScript (or Java or
C [think YACC/LEX output], ...) it is sometimes desirable to provide both forms in a contribution,
simply because the contributor preferred form might not be usable by downstream recipients.
 But what the preferred source of the contributor is, and what constitutes the licensable
work under copyright, in fact, does not change.
> 
> - Dennis
> 
> PS: What I just blurted out does not seem to deal with the case of open-source font files
very well.  Part of it has to do with exactly what is the copyrighted work of authorship in
the case of fonts, and how does that extend to binary forms for digital rendition of those
font shapes.  When is infringement, absent the license?  I imagine this has been dealt with
somewhere, just as it has for binaries of executables (although that might be an exception
written into the copyright law in the case of the US).
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Daniel Shahaf [mailto:d.s@daniel.shahaf.name] 
> Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 05:13
> To: Santiago Gala
> Cc: legal-discuss
> Subject: Re: Source form Re: What constitutes a source release?
> 
> Santiago Gala wrote on Fri, May 03, 2013 at 14:09:35 +0200:
>> On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 9:54 PM, Daniel Shahaf <d.s@daniel.shahaf.name>wrote:
>> 
>>> Sam Ruby wrote on Thu, May 02, 2013 at 15:24:29 -0400:
>>>> We may very well have to look at each specific font to determine what
>>>> the "preferred form for making modifications" would be.
>>> 
>>> Why are you saying "the" preferred form?  Probably because ALv2 says so,
>>> but wouldn't it be better to s/the preferred/a preferred/ in the
>>> definition below?
>>> 
>> 
>> I'm not a native English speaker, but "a preferred form" does not sound
>> precise. I guess "a suitable form" (versus "the preferred form amongst the
>> suitable ones") would be more precise.
>> 
> 
> Perhaps it should say "A most-preferred form".
> 
> *shrug* I guess that's not really important, given that we don't appear
> to be collecting ALv3 issues anywhere.  
> 
> Daniel
> 
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