I made an italic font without permission

I took a free Google font and made an ugly italic as my client requested to be used in a PowerPoint. I used Glyphs 3. Its ugly but the client is happy. Should I be arrested? Or turn myself in? 

Comments

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,346
    If it is something you found on Google Fonts, then it is released under the Open Font License (or very occasionally the Apache 2.0 license), so you didn’t make the italic without permission: permission is explicitly granted in the license.
  • Thanks John. They are ugly. But they wanted them. 
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 658
    @James Bridges, to clarify what @John Hudson said:  You can always add to a Google font so long as you change the name.  Your Italic needs a different name from the original.  I think you could also use that same new name for an unchanged version of the upright to be a companion, but I'm not sure. @Dave Crossland?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,346
    edited April 19
    Joyce, are you referring to OFL ‘Reserved Font Name’? I think only about half the fonts on Google Fonts have reserved names stated, and as I recall GF’s current preference is for fonts not to have a reserved name. When the STI Pub consortium representative was in talks with @Dave Crossland about putting the STIX Two fonts into GF, there was a specific request to remove the reserved name statement.
  • That is what I did. Thanks. In the end I convinced them to use an existing serif italic which was more interesting looking and easier to read than a fake roman san serif italic. 
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 658
    @John Hudson, really?  I thought the primary purpose of the reserved font name clause was to prevent caching issues.  It's a problem for end users more than for designers.  It seems like a bad idea to me to not require name changes.  
  • jeremy tribbyjeremy tribby Posts: 105
    I think you are both right, joyce and john. avoiding naming collisions with web fonts is one of the stated reasons that reserved font names are included in the OFL. and, as far as I remember, google prefers you not use reserved names.

    due to the implementation of cache partitioning in browsers a couple of years ago, there is now less if any value for that particular issue, because fonts are cached per domain that uses the font, not per CDN that serves the font. so users would only be avoiding collisions with themselves. (I think)

    dave would know better than me of course but I'd guess the reason google prefers you not use them is unrelated, because the suggestion is older than that - in practice I have really only seen reserved font names introduce confusion about IP/trademarks in what is otherwise a fairly straightforward copyleft license
  • Peter BakerPeter Baker Posts: 128
    My understanding (not sure I remember it exactly) is that the presence of a Reserved Font Name would require that the name be changed if the font was subsetted for a PDF or a web page--subsetting being a kind of alteration. Since GF does a lot of subsetting when serving fonts . . . you see the difficulty. In an operation like GF, it's not desirable to serve fonts with the names obfuscated.
  • My understanding (not sure I remember it exactly) is that the presence of a Reserved Font Name would require that the name be changed if the font was subsetted for a PDF or a web page--subsetting being a kind of alteration. Since GF does a lot of subsetting when serving fonts . . . you see the difficulty. In an operation like GF, it's not desirable to serve fonts with the names obfuscated.

    I thought that the name only needed to be changed if the font were being distributed as a standalone font file, as opposed to embedded in a PDF or the like (and potentially as a subset). This was the same reason why you could embed the font in a PDF without having to include a full copy of the license in your document — or maybe I have a misunderstanding of the OFL on this point.
    @John Hudson, really?  I thought the primary purpose of the reserved font name clause was to prevent caching issues.  It's a problem for end users more than for designers.  It seems like a bad idea to me to not require name changes.  

    Maybe, but I think it would be better to expect this practically than to force it legally. I think about the idea in the open-source world of someone picking up a project that has been abandoned — I'd rather the new maintainer have the ability to keep the original name (although I guess oftentimes this doesn't happen anyway). Some people on LWN have discussed the practicalities of this clause: https://lwn.net/Articles/552178/.

  • Peter BakerPeter Baker Posts: 128

    I thought that the name only needed to be changed if the font were being distributed as a standalone font file, as opposed to embedded in a PDF or the like (and potentially as a subset). This was the same reason why you could embed the font in a PDF without having to include a full copy of the license in your document — or maybe I have a misunderstanding of the OFL on this point.

    Here are a few relevant links, making clear that subsetting (at least as currently done) does require that the font's name be changed when a reserved font name (RFN) has been declared.
    1. SIL's FAQ, addressing the question "Is subsetting a web font considered modification?" (Answer: yes; can't use RFN).
    2. SIL's page on Web Fonts and Reserved Font Names (see especially the sections on "Importance of Reserved Font Names" and "Subsetting").
    3. A (closed) Google Fonts issue addressing the problem of RFN and subsetting.
    I wish Dave Crossland would weigh in on this, but I believe this (and possibly also issues around the woff format) is the main reason Google Fonts doesn't allow RFNs.

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