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That rightsholder is telling you a bald-faced lie.
No license approved by the Free Software Foundation or the Open Source Initiative allows superseding of licenses in this way.
The SIL Open Font License v1.1 is used for almost all libre fonts, and Section 8.6 says:
Question: 8.6 Does the OFL have an explicit expiration term?
Answer: No, the implicit intent of the OFL is that the permissions granted are perpetual and irrevocable.
This came up because in Poland, licenses without explicit expirations default to a 7 year term. I argue that each distribution is done under the license, so if your 7 years is nearly out and you didn't download a copy of an OFL font again in that time, you should go ahead and receive a new copy under a new license I also believe that the FAQs for licenses are also likely to be taken into account by courts when interpreting them.
I am very eager to hear such arguments!
With the Brexit "sick of experts" culture and the rise of Trump I am pondering again the need for more effective communication of memes that matter to me. The OFL FAQ is already very long, I guess few people read it.
Katy and everyone: Please please please do contact me if you deal with libre licensed fonts; I'm more than happy to provide expert consulting at no charge to resolve concerns about any libre licenses
That rightsholder is telling you a bald-faced lie.
I have a decade of experience with libre licenses, and I find this very surprising. I think your colleague has been lied to.
Please please please do contact me if you deal with libre licensed
fonts; I'm more than happy to provide expert consulting at no charge to
resolve concerns about any libre licenses
for the use of a font in an app, eBook, website, etc., is fair—because it
covers the added value which is generated by such use. By the same token,
additional licensing for the use of a font in a logo, can be fair. This depends
on the added value of such use. If the font would be used for a logo of a big
company, additional licensing would be fair. If it would be used for a very
small company, additional licensing would be unfair.
The only substantial
reason I see for additional licensing for using a font in an app, eBook,
website, for large scale commercial use, for broadcast use, for use in a logo,
etc.—is covering the added value which is generated for the licensee by such
use. When such added value is relatively small, there is no need for additional
Fairness must go
both ways. The font designer should not get underpaid, but also not get
overpaid. If a foundry tries to get overpaid—that would be unfair.
When someone buys
two books instead of one, the total price will usually be higher than for just
one book. For three books, the total price will usually be even higher. The
logic of this, is easy to understand: The more value a licensee gets by using a
font, the higher the expected fee for this use will be. This is a general
fairness principle which explains why foundries restrict specific uses in their
desktop licenses, and ask for additional licensing for those uses. In this
context, it doesn’t make sense to give the additional licensing away for free—because
the principle is about getting some kind of balance between the value of the
use, and the fee for this use.
I’m not sure whether
“added security risk” is a better criterion for explaining additional licensing
to customers, than “added value of use”. If eBooks are easier to copy than
traditional books, does that—from the perspective of a honest user—warrant a
higher price for eBooks?
Here you seem to use
a “scale of use” criterion (which is an implicit “added value of use”
criterion): small clients pay very little, and minor uses in products are
exempted. This makes perfect sense to me.
as a criterion for additional licensing, is a practical way to draw the line. Then the
additional licensing will leave some added-value-uses uncovered, and may cover
some uses with little or no added value. (This criterion becomes less useful,
when exceptions are made to it.)
does not make sense, when it is free (why not “unrestrict” the use involved in
the desktop license?), or when it is impractical to implement it. I am not
suggesting that foundries should try to remove everything which is unfair from
their licenses. It is up to a foundry, to decide what to restrict in a desktop
license, and how to implement any additional licensing. My main point is—that
it is certainly not insane to ask for additional licensing for the use of a
font in a large scale commercial campaign, for the use in a logo of a big
company, or for the use in a broadcast.
@JoyceKetterer I don’t understand why you are suggesting
that I am stuck in a type of thinking which makes more confusion. I
did not suggest that all licenses should be completely fair. Practicality and
perfect fairness, are not compatible. I gave a general explanation for
restrictions in a desktop license—both for less usual ones, and usual ones. I
also suggested, that restrictions for which this explanation is not valid, are
not a good idea. For less usual restrictions, this explanation can be used to create
clearness and reduce confusion—both for a foundry when deciding whether or not
to have such a restriction in their desktop license, and for explaining such a
restriction to prospective customers. (There may be some confusion in this
discussion, when general restrictions are discussed together with custom
@JoyceKetterer Please do not make
up stories about my way of thinking.
@Joe Manbeck I'm doing a survey of EULAs for my practicum on the 25th. Could you point me to some of the examples in your own stable you were thinking of?
Nobody wrote here that a person buys the same book twice. It seems some people here do not read very carefully...
... and then make silly jokes based on this lack of attentive reading. So mature.
... or make up stories about the messenger, instead of discussing the message. Kudos on shooting the messenger.
Tiffany Wardle de Sousa I license my type because it is the right thing to do. But I will generally backtrack and change fonts if I realize that the foundry is trying to—excuse me—nickel and dime me to death.
@JoyceKetterer I’m happy to explain everything I wrote—but I
won’t explain what I didn’t write. (The Germans have a nice word for reading
too much into something: hineininterpretieren.)
@Katy Mawhood I really do appreciate your willingness to
discuss things from your perspective. You make a valid point that a
consolidation of EULAs will increase the efficiency of using fonts for the
larger font users. If this consolidation is supposed to also include a
standardization of EULAs, then I doubt whether this is possible in a font
industry where every font supplier has the right to use its own licensing
terms. If “a EULA is only a single system” means, that all or most font EULAs
should be standardized—then that’s just a pipe dream.
Paperwork is part of
purchasing fonts, like it is for purchasing many other things. The costs of
such paperwork, are a part of the costs of using fonts. Such costs should be
included in the budget for a project that includes the purchase or use of
fonts. Any decision about using fonts, should be based on the total costs of
doing that, and not on only the price of a font license. Choosing only fonts
with a very clear license with few restrictions, would be a way to reduce the
total costs of using fonts.
Essentially, in this
discussion—I just tried to explain less usual desktop license restrictions,
what no one else seems to be willing to do, and what took me a lot of time.
After some recent contributions to this discussion, I’m not in the mood now to
spend more time on it.
Essentially, in this
discussion—I just tried to explain less usual desktop license restrictions…
i. pornographic, derogatory, defamatory or racist material (in any form, printed or virtual); ii. activities in support of or depictions of child abuse, child pornography or in activities that use, foster or promote child labour; iii. use by individuals or companies involved in any abuse and/or destruction of natural resources and/or habitat, logging (even legal), palm oil exploitation/harvesting, tuna fishing, whaling, animal or human trafficking, oil and/or gas drilling or the transporting and mining of such products or persons; iv. use by individuals or companies promoting an unhealthy lifestyle , including, but not limited, to fast food, energy drinks, foods containing GM ingredients); v. use by companies or persons involved in Genetic Modification / Genetic Alteration of organisms; vi. use by individuals or companies involved in fur trade, or making use of fur; vii. use by missionaries, individuals or institutions of any creed or faith for the purpose of converting others to their creed or faith; viii. use in navigation devices, embedding and Webfont use; and ix. use to instigate or support of terror, hate, intolerance, fear or racism.
Like in all areas of business, there are some shady companies who try to pull the wool over their customers eyes.
Malcolm Wooden said:
Do you think there is some confusion here between fonts that are 'free' (i.e. do not have a license fee) and Libre fonts?
The fonts that are available for free from such places as DAfonts are usually not Libre, they just don't charge a license fee, but they are usually published with conditions that relate to a EULA.
If these fonts suddenly become popular there is nothing stopping the originator (IP holder) from changing the conditions by which they are made available and licensed.
Fonts published under the libre license, as of course you know,
are 'Free Cultural Works' which usually have source code available and users are encouraged to make additional contributions to the project for the benefit of all users.
But then there is also SIL Open Font License, IPA Font License, GNU General Public License and others.
I can understand why commercial organisations get very nervous about using 'free' fonts.