Open Source Publishing – Graphic Design Caravan

Further Liberation.

Type · May 15th, 2007 ·

If we check the font infos of Liberation font, on Fontforge, for example, here is what we find:

Copyright Ascender Corp…
and a trademark: “Liberation is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc. registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and certain other jurisdictions.”. In the license text of the ttf font package, we find: “Copyright © 2007 Red Hat, Inc. All rights reserved. LIBERATION is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc.“, and the license text is GPL.
Still, the license informations says:
“Use of this Liberation font software is subject to the license agreement under which you accepted the Liberation font software.”

Interesting as well: Liberation Sans seems to have been created in 1970, while all the others in the pack were in 2004 or 2005.

Liberated fonts are not exempt of paradoxes…

Looking forward, the owner of rights of this font are Ascender Corporation, “leading provider of advanced font products specializing in type design, font development and licensing” company, which offers services such as Font Branding.
you can also contact their “Font Licensing Specialists”

Sure designer Steve Matteson knows exactly the font system specs – and what he does: “…in 1990 he began work at Monotype to create the Windows core TrueType fonts: Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New“. He designed a.o. Xbox 360 Branding Fonts and is part of the Segoe Vista font team development.

By the way, there is no Comic-Sans-like font in the L-pack. Which designer will have the honour of drawing it?

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  • 1. nicolas

    May 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    hello Harrisson,

    The way I understand all this…
    What happens is that the Ascender Corp. uses dual licensing in this case. As does Mysql or Trolltech. It means that they license these fonts under the gpl OR under a closed license if you want it.

    – If you acquire them under the terms of the GPL, if you want to redistribute them, you have to do it under the same conditions.
    – If you want to redistribute them together with a closed-source package, you will have to buy a license.

    This is the meaning of:
    “Use of this Liberation font software is subject to the license agreement under which you accepted the Liberation font software.”

    This wikipedia article gives an overview of the possibilities of dual licensing:

    I can’t wait for a free Comic-Sans


  • 2. Harrisson

    May 16, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    So, it means you can copy, distribute or modify the Liberation fonts under the gpl license if you get the font from a linux distribution, and the trademark is there to an assure an unalterable original name. A free Comic Sans would be an important philosophical statement.

  • 3. yosch

    Jun 1, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    A free Comic Sans? Maybe freeing up the fonts http://bancomicsans.com/fonts.html or using something like http://betatype.com/node/19