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Re: [Devel] initial release of FTLayout/GXLayout

From: Antoine Leca
Subject: Re: [Devel] initial release of FTLayout/GXLayout
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 11:58:11 +0100

Hi folks,

David, don't take me wrong, this is not an answer to you, rather an intent
to go further.

On Wednesday, February 25, 2004 1:15 PM
Turner David <address@hidden> va escriure:
>   - you're free to distribute a mix of GPL/LGPL/FTL code in a
>     single source archive (i.e. there is no need to remove the
>     file from your webserver)

Yes, but be aware this is a mess. People generally do not understand that in
a single package downloaded as a single archive, you have to observe
different licenses to use this or that part.
And things are furthermore complex (and messier) when the source is re-used
in another, wider package.

>   - as far as I know, the FTL is incompatible with the GPL (hence the

I do not know if they are compatible or not (this is beyond my knowledge,
and the ones that may know, i.e. lawyers, won't take on it; not "tested in
court", they say).

What is clear is that the GNU guys (Richard Stallman in fact) did insist
that "advertising" packages (so-called "4-clause BSD-like licenses", or
"original BSD license" according to RMS), like Freetype when it was covered
under only the FTL, cannot be re-distributed under either GNU GPL or LGPL
licenses (which disallow "advertising"), so this retricted them to the above
option (packaging under different licenses, which RMS was willingly to
avoid; read the interesting

The Freetype team chose to solve the issue by extending the licensing option
to the GNU GPL, in a this-or-that scheme. By the way, I understand this mean
that someone that redistribute (modifying) Freetype should choose either GNU
GPL or FTL. What is not clear to me is if Masatake applies for the "someone"
just above (I realise .

>     dual-license plan). I don't know exactly if it is compatible with
>     the LGPL as well.

>     If this is *not* the case, the only way to legally
>     distribute *binaries* of the resulting library as a single
>     file is under the GPL !
> But there is hope, if the LGPL code can be easily replaced by
> something different, we could integrate it in our CVS.

Since the new stuff includes part of GLib, I did not expect it to be really
 a) Who own the copyright over this stuff, i.e. ot-unicode.[ch]? (this I do
not know)
 b) Is (are) s/he willing to accept a change of licensing conditions from
GNU LGPL to something else, perhaps the dual term Freetype LICENSE.TXT?
(this should be easier once a. is clear)
 c) If this cannot be achieved, well the only way is to write a clean room
replacement for this stuff (and yes, I may volunteer for helping here)

Then, there is the code Owen wrote specifically for Pango/opentype, and that
Masatake did extract from there, I understand it should be easier, as I
understand it is clear Owen (or Red Hat, depending of the terms between
them) holds all the rights on this code. And then this turns out this code
ought to be changed of license as well.

Another, completely different, solution, may be to open even wider the
conditions for (part of) Freetype, to be dual licensed FTL and GNU LGPL.
Then, Masatake stuff could be integrated, keeping only the LGPL option.

While this may been seen as "marvelous", please take in consideration:
 - that the change of license will involve a *lot* of people which have
contributed, even if all the files only mention the 3 founders as copyright
 - more important, that the effect will be that this resulting package will
be much more restricted than the existing Freetype engine library (because
the FTL license will be gone). As a result, it would be unusable in a number
of situations (embeeded market and *-BSD distributions, to name two evident
cases), and this will reduce the number of contributors to the project. In
fact, this may even induce a break of the Freetype project into two bands, a
situation that is certainly not something we should want.

Bottom line, it seems to me this "solution" is a Very Very Bad Idea(TM).


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