Fonts prohibiting installable embedding

Paul Wise pabs at
Sat Oct 2 04:31:07 CEST 2021

On Sat, Oct 2, 2021 at 12:42 AM Reinhard Kotucha wrote:

> I assume that the *only* legally relevant document is the license and
> thus don't see any reason to waste any time or to bother the authors.
> In this case I'm convinced that Debian did too much of a good thing.
> If we can't rely on the license file, is there anything we can rely on
> at all?  Can a stupid comment in the source code of a program render
> the license file invalid?  Certainly not.

The license is a legal instrument that is only enforced in the courts,
but the embedding/printing/etc bits are a technical instrument that is
often enforced by software, kind of like DRM but easier to defeat if
you know how, and impossible to defeat if you don't know how. So when
the embedding/printing/etc bits are inconsistent with the license, I
think it is appropriate to discuss disabling those bits with the
upstream authors of the font, so that users who don't know how to
defeat those bits can use the fonts in the ways that they are legally
allowed to and want to, in places that do enforce the
embedding/printing/etc bits.


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