Help with licensing questions

Stephen Hartke hartke at
Sun Feb 15 17:47:52 UTC 2009

Nicolas (M),

Thanks for your response to my email!  More below.

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 9:51 AM, Nicolas Mailhot
<nicolas.mailhot at>wrote:

> Basically, I don't think the format of your font should drive your
> licensing decisions. If the GPL is appropriate for the metatype
> version it's appropriate for the OTF version. Just "it looks more like
> software as usual" is a weak reason.

I think that the license of my font _should_ be driven by the format, or,
more specifically, by the information that is being released and reused for
making a derivative work.

Releasing MetaType1 sources under the GPL and the OTF file under the OFL
seems to accomplish exactly what I want:

If someone makes a derivative font by modifying the sources and distributes
it, then I want them to be required to distribute their modified sources,
just as the GPL requires.  It doesn't seem to me that the OFL would require

If however someone modifies the OTF file directly using FontForge, then
using the GPL is rather nonsensical since there is no source.  In that case,
the OFL seems to be the perfect license.

I don't see how either license by itself accomplishes my goals.  Licensing
the sources under the GPL (with font embedding exception) and the OTF file
under the OFL seems a reasonable compromise that accomplishes what I want.

Best wishes,
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