On Thu, Nov 11, 2021 at 12:48 PM Ben Cotton <bcotton(a)redhat.com> wrote:
On Thu, Nov 11, 2021 at 12:16 PM Richard Fontana <rfontana(a)redhat.com> wrote:
> But this would be like the Apache License saying "derivative works
> can't have the consecutive letters 'AP' in their name".
I disagree. First "uw" is how the foundry is identified. The Apache
Software Foundation doesn't use "AP" to identify itself, as far as
I've seen. Second, the word "word" is meaningful here. If the
University of Washington, as an example, used "UWash-ttyp0" as the
name, that wouldn't violate the restriction. In other words, it's not
that the letters u and w appear consecutively, but they're used as a
But that implies that a word can't contain another word, I think?
"UWash" for example I would argue contains a number of words ("ash",
"wash", "as", "a", for starters). Unless "word"
has a special
domain-specific meaning in the world of font foundry names (does it?)
it is not clear to me that this developer would agree that "UWash"
does not violate the restriction.
> It could be that the traditional view has been that any
> restrictive renaming provision is okay from a libre standpoint. I'm
> not sure why that should be correct though.
I'm not sure this is a well-explored area, but I think authors have a
fundamental right to disclaim association with derivative works. Just
as a license can require attribution, we should be able to require
dis-attribution (for lack of a better term). So I'm inclined to accept
most "you can make derivatives so long as you don't try to make it
sound like it's from or endorsed by me" scenarios. Where I'd draw the
line is more arbitrary restrictions. Like if GNOME had a license that
restricted calling a derivative work "dwarf" because Merriam-Webster
says they're synonyms. But saying "you can't call it
would be acceptable because it uses the word "GNOME".
I'm not entirely sure that one-letter words are automatically out
bounds. I think there's some room for context. Like if I make a font
called "c-font" that's part of a larger ecosystem of "c-*"
think it's reasonable to say "you can't use 'c' alone in your
derivative work" ("bc" would be fine, but "remade-c"
wouldn't). On the
other hand, if "c-font" is the only "c-" name package, then I agree
that it's arbitrarily restrictive.
So then maybe the question is what does "word" mean in this license?
If it has the narrow meaning that you are assuming, then maybe it is
okay. I'm not sure.
Worth noting also, in FLOSS historically some restrictions have been
tolerated in font licenses that weren't considered libre in software
licenses. This is probably one of the reasons why Fedora, for example,
has a separate category for acceptable font licenses. (Example: SIL
OFL vs. SunRPC.) But that's not especially for some sort of admirable
reason. It's because the community chose to "look the other way" out
of a strong desire to see sort-of-free-ish fonts get released, as Dave
Crossland explained to me a long time ago.