2 Apr 2011 yosch   » (Master)

webos: open fonts or not?

Looks like webOS - the new promising OS for phones, tablets and more - has released a new SDK but the licensing of the fonts included remain unclear: the SDK EULA and the font metadata don't really indicate if HP has chosen to release the fonts commissioned for this platform under a libre font software license or not.

From what I can see in the Virtualbox image used in the 2.1 SDK, the core fonts from Ascender have their usual agreement "You may not use this font software on more than five personal computers unless you have obtained a license from Ascender to do so. Except as specifically permitted by the license, you may not copy this font software." but the external license it may refer to is missing. And more importantly, the very nice Prelude font family specifically commissioned for the platform from David Berlow from the Font Bureau has copyright and trademark statements but no license. No details on the dedicated open source subdomain either.

Webos maintainers have indicated what languages the Prelude font currently supports. They should consider clarifying the EULA they want to attach to these fonts. Allowing the fonts to be modified - and explicitely stating so - will help with language coverage and increase the value of the webos platform in a very competitive space...

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