Programmers: license for SignWriting symbols (ISWA)

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon May 28 14:45:04 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
May 28, 2007

Hello Sandy and Everyone -
Thank you for taking the time to read the OFL information. And many  
thanks again to Gerard, for stimulating the search for a license for  
SignWriting...Some kind of a license is needed in our world today, so  
this is good to face this...

Sandy...Thank you for your response below. Your reaction was the same  
as mine... SignWriting is not a font. It is an alphabet. Gerard told  
me it was hard to find a license already written that fits  
SignWriting exactly.

For those list members reading this message and wondering what we are  
talking about.....A font is more different  
typefaces. We can have many different typeface designs in SignWriting  
symbols just as we can have many different typeface designs in the  
Roman Alphabet. Helvetica and Geneva fonts are not different  
alphabets. They are the same alphabet in different typography  
designs, placed on a font which can then be licensed under the OFL (I  

And even though it is true that the symbols I am putting together for  
the ISWA are PNGs (at the moment) and later will become SVG, the PNGs  
and SVG versions of the symbols are not SignWriting least  
what I had understood from people was that they wanted a license to  
use the SignWriting alphabet in matter what the device  
used to write with...

So I wonder...Can we write our own license? I could draft a Free  
SignWriting License, where I explain in detail what SignWriting is,  
and specify what people can and cannot do...which will be open, I  
assure you ;-))

Are we allowed to create our own license? It would encompass free use  
of SignWriting PNGs, SVGs, the Sutton Fonts, SignWriter DOS and Java  
source code, writing by hand, free downloading of photos and  
documents on the SignWriting-related web sites, and permission to  
publish using SignWriting.

I could write a first draft of this Free SignWriting License, and  
post it to the SW List for feedback...

What do you think?  Val ;-)


On May 28, 2007, at 4:51 AM, Sandy Fleming wrote:

>> SIL Open Font License
>> Our question to programmers who use SignWriting...
>> How do you feel about the OFL License?
>> If the SignWriting symbols are placed under the OFL License, will you
>> feel free to use the symbols for your programming? That is what
>> matters to me.
> I'm not sure about this.
> The site doesn't seem to define what it means by a "font". So far we
> have Val's PNG symbols and Machado's SVG symbols. Do either of these
> count as a font? It would seem to me that the PNG would come under som
> sort of images license and the the SVGs under some sort of software
> license.
> In the "Working Model" diagram, the site talks about "Other software
> product bundled for specific languages/scripts", but even so, what we
> have so far handles PNGs and SVGs, not fonts.
> Sandy

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