Open Source Publishing – Graphic Design Caravan

Legal Soup

Type · August 18th, 2009 ·

1. Unlimited Use License

Judging from the mysql errors flying around, the Open Records Generator software developed by David Reinfurt, is not actively maintained at the moment. Still, this GPL licensed software presents an interesting mix of buyers and users: “The buyer receives full rights to modify and reuse the software for future applications” (found on: http://o-r-g.com/STORE/OPEN-RECORDS-GENERATOR)

Open Records Generator is available as Open Source Software. By purchasing this product from O R G inc., you will also receive the complete source code. Using this code, the buyer is free to alter, adapt and evolve this software to fit future projects.

2. Ecology

Dutch webdesign agency Spranq developed the much publicised Ecofont, based on the idea that if you punch holes in Vera Sans, you decrease the amount of toner used by 20%. The font can be downloaded for free, and on the project site they refer to the fact that Vera Sans is ‘open source’, but unfortunately none of this is carried over in to the derivative work. We wrote:


We saw an article on the Ecofonts you released in this month edition of Items. What a great idea to establish a connection between typography and ecology and also to create an inspiring example of how an ‘open source’ font can be used. We were therefore a bit disappointed to find that clear information on its legal status is missing. You indicate that you may download Ecofont for free, but the required original license is not included (See copyright Vera Sans: “The above copyright and trademark notices and this permission notice shall be included in all copies of one or more of the Font Software type faces”), and thus it is not clear what users can and can not do with your work. It creates unnecessary confusion about open source fonts, and wouldn’t it be nice (and beneficial for the environment!) when other designers would feel invited to contribute a serif version or apply the same principle to another font?

Kind regards,


(Spranq responded within an hour and the downloadable font now includes a correct copyright notice)

3. You may use this font only if you …

@fontface is changing the rules of ‘free’ typography, which is confusing fontdesigners everywhere. (Free Font License found on: http://www.myfonts.com/viewlicense?id=706)

You may use this font for Font-Face embedding, but only if you put a link to www.exljbris.nl on your page and/or put this notice /* A font by Jos Buivenga (exljbris) -> www.exljbris.nl */ in your CSS file as near as possible to the piece of code that declares the Font-Face embedding of this font.

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