23 Oct 2008 yosch   » (Master)

Droid font licensing problems

moyogo, IMHO they should really fix the licensing before it can be accepted by any serious distro...

Technically if the metadata stays as it is now (the standard Ascender EULA), use is restricted and designers can't branch or send patches back...

The fonts are in the base.git repo under data/fonts. There are README and Notice files mentioning the Apache v2 license but this is not reflected in the font metadata. The font metadata actually contains contradictory information!

The Ahem test font does not have any license information attached to it. No way of knowing who the upstream is. A FONTLOG should really be added.

And the Droid fonts themselves still refer to an unknown external EULA in the License Description field: "License Description: This font software is the valuable property of Ascender Corporation and/or its suppliers and its use by you is covered under the terms of a license agreement. This font software is licensed to you by Ascender Corporation for your personal or business use on up to five personal computers. 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.If you have any questions, please review the license agreement you received with this font software, and/or contact Ascender Corporation. Contact Information:Ascender CorporationWeb http://www.ascendercorp.com/"

A standard link to the Ascender restricted EULA is provided in the License Info URL field: http://ascendercorp.com/eula10.html

Not the kind of choice that will build a collaborative font designer community around this to make the Android stack more multilingual...

OTOH If this is fixed I really doubt many font designers have heard about or read through the Apache v2 license. IMHO it's in the interest of Google and the Android community to pick a community-recognized font-specific license like the OFL to provide a better collaboration mechanism to extend the font and to take care of embedding/naming problems.

I'll get in touch with the Android folks about this...

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