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I would like the build upon the Libertine Open Fonts Project under SIL OFL 1.1, a permission that seems to be intended by the authors. However, several issues / irregularities crop up in the wording of their license. These quotes are from various README and LICENCE files in two versions - the JAIST version (ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub/CTAN/fonts/libertine) and the SourceForge version (sourceforge.net/projects/linuxlibertine/)

The original opentype fonts were created by Philipp H. Poll (gillian at linuxlibertine.org) and are licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (Version 2, with font exception) and under the terms of the Open Font License.

Does "and" mean that both licenses must apply? I have heard that GPL and SIL OFL are incompatible, and that opinion seems valid (to me) because the reserved name clause of OFL would constitute an additional restriction, disallowed by GPL.

Could "and" mean "either GPL or OFL, at my choice"? I suspect that this is the intent of the authors of the license declaration, but taking "and" to mean "or" is quite a stretch.

Our fonts are free in the sense of the GPL. ... Further information about the GPL (licence text with font exception see GPL.txt in this package). Additionally our fonts are licensed under the Open Fonts License (see OFL.txt).

Does "Additionally" mean "either GPL or OFL, at my choice"?

There are other issues ...

  • The JAIST LICENSE refers to OFL.txt, but that file is not in the distribution.

  • The SourceForge LICENSE refers to OFL.txt, but the file is named OFL-1.1.txt.

  • The LICENSE statement has the terms in two languages? Which is binding? (German and English are included in the LICENSE.txt file of both JAIST and SourceForge.)

Sorry for so many questions ... I'm really just trying to clear this font for further development under SIL OFL 1.1. These all seem to be stumbling blocks ...

marked as duplicate by Bart van Ingen Schenau, MadHatter, curiousdannii, Mureinik, ArtOfCode Jan 18 '18 at 8:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Well, at least one developer, Khaled Hosny, has made the determination that SIL OFL is OK in this situation. He has staked a lot of work on that determination in his development of Libertinus ... github.com/khaledhosny/libertinus – Clint Goss Jan 16 '18 at 16:48
  • Sorry for the duplication @bartvan. This was originally in the Law forum, and they suggested posting it here. Then they migrated the discussion here, causing the duplication. – Clint Goss Jan 16 '18 at 17:35
  • @ClintGoss All's good! No need to apologize! Did that link answer your question? If it did, then you should be able to mark it as a duplicate (it helps other people with the same question get consistent answers :) ) – Zizouz212 Jan 18 '18 at 3:11
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There's no difference whatsoever between these two things. Licenses only grant you privileges subject to restrictions on those privileges.

Most of your questions don't really make sense because you seem to think licenses can impose restrictions. They cannot. A license cannot impose a restriction, it's legally impossible for them to do so because a restriction can only be imposed on someone who agreed to that restriction and these licenses don't require your agreement.

Licenses grant you rights you didn't already have if, and only if, you comply with their requirements. If you don't, you don't get that right from that license. If you need that right, you can also perhaps get it some other way.

A license is not "You may not go to the movies unless you do your homework" because a license cannot take rights away. How could it -- you've never agreed to it. A license is "You may go to the movies if you do your homework." That is, it gives you one or more rights you didn't already have in exchange for you complying with its conditions.

Consider:

1) You may go to the movies if you first do your homework.
2) You may go to the movies if you first clean your room.

There is no difference between an AND and an OR of these two things. Each is an independent grant of permission conditional on meeting a requirement. Once you have permission from someone authorized to grant it, no other document can take it away unless it's a contract, which a license isn't.

So look at a question like:

Does "Additionally" mean "either GPL or OFL, at my choice"?

No. It means that everyone gets both licenses. Your only choice is how you want to get whatever rights you need.

Does "and" mean that both licenses must apply? I have heard that GPL and SIL OFL are incompatible, and that opinion seems valid (to me) because the reserved name clause of OFL would constitute an additional restriction, disallowed by GPL.

Yes, both licenses always apply. The GPL puts no restrictions on other licenses an author can grant. Since both licenses apply, you can obtain any rights you need from either license.

  • Wow. Exceptionally clear and helpful answer. You seemed to have gleaned my level of understanding, and raised it nicely, with terminology and examples appropriate to my level. Thank you. – Clint Goss Jan 18 '18 at 14:25

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