The GPL Font Quandary

By Deane Barker on April 18, 2005

Unintended Consequences of Using GPL Fonts: Slashdot is reporting today on the apparent belief that using a GPL-ed font in your document makes the content of the document GPL-ed by extension.

[…] it appears that using GPL-licensed fonts in a document makes your document subject to the GPL. There are a lot of consequences here, such as internal corporate communications. It appears to make the use of GPL fonts undesirable in almost any document.

I disagree with this. Does using an open-source content management system make all content you put into it GPL as well? I think we need to draw the distinction between the content of something and the platform that manages it. If I use The Gimp to edit my vacation pictures, does that make them subject to the GPL as well?

This whole concept is a bad, bad thing for open-source, if only for the fact that there are a lot of people in Redmond and Lindon, Utah who dream about ammunition like this to discredit the open-source movement.

Darl McBride is going to be an awfully happy guy when he finds out this theory is floating around.

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