8

I found that Google uploaded Product Sans font to a repo licensed under Apache License 2.0:

https://github.com/google/iosched-ios/blob/master/Source/IOsched/ProductSans-Regular.ttf

Can the font file be considered to be under Apache License 2.0, as the license file in the repo says?

  • The actual license file also includes a CC-BY-NC-SA license. The intended effect of this is unclear, but it is NOT a pure Apache 2 license. I'd rather not touch anything in that repo – amon Aug 22 '19 at 14:26
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    @amon The LICENSE file says that "All image and audio files (including *.png, *.jpg, *.svg, *.mp3, *.wav and *.ogg) are licensed under the CC-BY-NC license. All other files are licensed under the Apache 2 license". The .ttf font file is not image or audio file with any extensions listed above. – Max Aug 22 '19 at 17:30
7

One has to assume they did so on purpose. In any case, if they did so on purpose or not is not your concern: You did get the font legally under the stated license, and enjoy the benefits laid out there (and have to abide by the restrictions).

They can't take it back. Sure, they might decide not to license next version under the same conditions, but this one version is under APL.

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9

The LICENSE file in the repository contains the text of two licenses (the Apache 2.0 and the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0) and between those is a very important paragraph

All image and audio files (including *.png, *.jpg, *.svg, *.mp3, *.wav and *.ogg) are licensed under the CC-BY-NC license. All other files are licensed under the Apache 2 license.

This paragraph specifies that different parts of the repository are made available under different licenses and which license applies to each part.

As a .ttf font file is neither an image nor an audio file, and the .ttf extension is not explicitly listed, the font must be under the Apache 2.0 license.

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    The LICENSE file says that "All image and audio files (including *.png, *.jpg, *.svg, *.mp3, *.wav and *.ogg) are licensed under the CC-BY-NC license. All other files are licensed under the Apache 2 license". The .ttf font file is not image or audio file with any extensions listed above. – Max Aug 22 '19 at 16:54
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    @Max: I have rewritten my answer. I had overlooked that paragraph earlier. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Aug 22 '19 at 18:40
4

This is an ambiguous case for multiple reasons:

  1. The downloaded font file contains this in its license field: https://www.google.com/fonts/license/productsans , which tells you that it is not open source. So you have two contradictory statements about the license of the font.
  2. "All images and audio files (including ...)" does not necessarily mean an inclusive list. It is technically possible, although unlikely to work, for someone to argue that a font is an image file.
  3. This may well depend on legislature and internal workings of Google, but the person who uploaded the repo may not have the right to give away to copyright, so the Apache 2.0 license on the font may be void.
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3

I just downloaded the font file. While I didn't see a link to the clearly unambiguous license in the properties of the file (https://fonts.google.com/license/productsans), it does say under the "Legal trademarks" field that "Product Sans is a trademark of Google." The license that the GitHub repository is working under (https://github.com/google/iosched-ios/blob/master/LICENSE) explicitly disallows use of trademarks in the Apache portion: "6. Trademarks. This License does not grant permission to use the trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file."

So it seems like the entire argument may be sidestepped and we're still not allowed to use the font because of trademark, rather than other points of licensing.

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    Trademarks don't prevent you from taking the font and redistributing it under a different name, with or without modification. For example, Firefox is both trademarked and released under an open-source license. This means you can make modified browsers, but you can't call them Firefox. That has led to the Iceweasel clone in Debian. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jun 11 at 8:46
  • It is actually not clear if the font or the font design is trademarked given your sentence. If only the font name is trademarked then it does not matter. It is doubtful whether the font's design can actually be trademarked given how close it is to Futura and similar fonts. Note that I do believe that link clearly says the font is not open source. – Max Xiong Jun 25 at 20:17

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