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AlexMax
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As you guys probably already know, ZDoom's zdoom.pk3 includes several additional characters and fonts that are derived from Doom's original typefaces...several characters in the small font that cover omissions, a flexible Big Font implementation, and the console characters from Quake 2 Test, amongst others.

Up until now, I always assumed that it was ZDoom playing fast and loose, since Odamex ships its own BigFont that is not derived from doom and it does not provide any of the Small Font omissions. However, according to U.S. Federal Law, ZDoom might actually be okay in this aspect. It appears that typefaces are exempt from copyright protection, which BigFont and SmallFont definitely fall under.

So would this mean that any Source Port can feel okay with providing Doom-derived typefaces and still be legally in the clear?

Old Post 07-29-13 17:51 #
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fraggle
Filled with the code of Doom


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de minimis non curat praetor

Old Post 07-29-13 17:57 #
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RjY
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All I can say is, if you care at all about getting your engine into linux distributions unmodified, don't put the IWAD font in it :-)

I don't know how to write that in Latin though.

Old Post 07-30-13 02:53 #
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gnudist
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Fonts aren't covered by copyright here but that's not true everywhere. And scaleable computer fonts are considered software for the purposes of United States copyright law even though the design of the characters themselves is not copyrightable.

you should not include unlicenced fonts if you want your source port in linux repos, mirrored by non US sites or care if your source port is 100% free as in freedom

Old Post 08-02-13 06:14 #
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Gez
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gnudist said:
And scaleable computer fonts are considered software

However, the bitmap fonts used by Doom are not scalable: If you size them up, you get bigger pixels; if you size them down, you get a blurry mess.

That advanced professional font formats have fonts that are classified as software make sense, because they essentially are software. They don't contain simply graphic data, they also contains a number of rules about how such graphic data is used -- including complex notions such as ligatures, accents and diacritics, etc. It's possible to have a font choose between several different glyphs for the same letter or combination of letters according to a number of rules which are directly part of the font itself.

Old Post 08-02-13 14:06 #
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fabian
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As far as I understand it, you cannot protect the *style* of a font by copyright law, i.e. you cannot sue Microsoft for Arial being a replica of Helvetica down to the smallest detail. However, you must not do anything with Arial.ttf, i.e. the actual digital work, that is not explcitely permitted by its license.

In other words, it is not forbidden to create a font yourself that looks astonishingly similar to the one used internally in Doom. However, nobody has allowed to use the actual font included in the Doom IWAD to create other fonts or text string graphics from it.

Old Post 08-03-13 21:40 #
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gnudist
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I must suck at getting the point across if others are repeating what I've already wrote.

And yeah, I also forgot to clarify on the scaleable fonts thing that doom's weren't. That was intended as a warning to those who saw the above and assumed they could take windings.ttf from windows and use it as if it were public domain

Old Post 08-08-13 17:34 #
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Sokoro
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fabian said:
As far as I understand it, you cannot protect the *style* of a font by copyright law, i.e. you cannot sue Microsoft for Arial being a replica of Helvetica down to the smallest detail. However, you must not do anything with Arial.ttf, i.e. the actual digital work, that is not explcitely permitted by its license.

In other words, it is not forbidden to create a font yourself that looks astonishingly similar to the one used internally in Doom. However, nobody has allowed to use the actual font included in the Doom IWAD to create other fonts or text string graphics from it.



So what if I open doom iwad fonts in one window and start new font picture in other window, then start to redraw all fonts by pixel after pixel and then release the result as public domain. Is that legal?

Old Post 08-12-13 18:05 #
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Maes
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I always wondered if it would be possible to derive the Doom fonts just by using the resources present in IWADS -obviously there is a functional "small caps" set which also includes punctuation and numbers already included as accessible resources in the IWAD, which is also the only one actually used to print arbitrary strings to the screen in vanilla.

With some manipulation, those can also be changed in color etc. which is what e.g. ZDoom does, by using nothing but resources that come with the IWAD. Not sure what happens if those are altered at the IWAD level though...do ALL fonts, including e.g. the console change?

OTOH, the bigger fonts used in menus have two cases (small and big caps) are only contained in pre-rendered strings (e.g. menu items, level names etc.)...I wonder if anyone ever analyzed those to see if they contain at least a full A-Z alphabet (each letter from A-Z at least once), so it would be possible to "screen scape" each string to obtain a particular letter, so that every source port could, in theory, have the ability to use those big "menu fonts" for arbitrary messages, without including any external resources and with no copyright problems.

Of course, there's the problem that every IWAD has different message strings, and some (all?) might not contain every A-Z letter at least once, or might not do so for both cases. Also, numbers seem to be in short supply, but the ones from the status bar belong to the same typeface (I think?) and they also include the dot, minus and slash (?) sign.

Old Post 08-13-13 00:57 #
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Quasar
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Maes said:
OTOH, the bigger fonts used in menus have two cases (small and big caps) are only contained in pre-rendered strings (e.g. menu items, level names etc.)...I wonder if anyone ever analyzed those to see if they contain at least a full A-Z alphabet (each letter from A-Z at least once), so it would be possible to "screen scape" each string to obtain a particular letter, so that every source port could, in theory, have the ability to use those big "menu fonts" for arbitrary messages, without including any external resources and with no copyright problems.


EE and ZDoom already contain a font consisting of the "small" caps, which we refer to as the "big font" and use in a similar way to Heretic/Hexen's big font.

As for the tall caps, my recent analysis found all letters obtainable except B, X, and Z. This was whilst including graphics from the press release beta (which contains most if not all of the Doom 0.5 menu system's graphics), AND the new graphics from the BFG Edition IWAD. So no, a full set is not available. Someone would have to fabricate those letters. You'd also practically need punctuation marks and digits. The intermission and the stat bar have two different sets of similar numbers, but I'm not sure if either are the right size to fit in. Of these latter classes, questions and exclamation points are available already in the pre-baked graphics.

EDIT: and a colon.

Old Post 08-13-13 11:48 #
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Gez
Why don't I have a custom title by now?!


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There's also the WISLASH issue in ZDoom.


Quasar said:
all letters obtainable except B, X, and Z.

This is a big problem for the "Back to Zaturn X" project.

Old Post 08-13-13 13:28 #
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GreyGhost
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Quasar said:
Someone would have to fabricate those letters. You'd also practically need punctuation marks and digits.

EDIT: and a colon.

*cough* bitmap fonts *cough*

Anything there of use, if only as a source of inspiration?

Old Post 08-13-13 13:48 #
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Maes
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Quasar said:
all letters obtainable except B, X, and Z.


To avoid confusion, I suggest we refer to the various fonts also by their heights from now on. In this way, the usual Doom fonts in the STCFNxx lumps would be 7-px tall.

Menus use a combination of 15-px fonts ("big caps") and 12-px fonts ("small caps"). Some "big caps" like the letter "Q" are actually 17 px.

Level names that appear in the intermission screen seem to use the same 12-px font as the menus' "small caps", but with a white palette. STTNUMx graphics are 16-px tall, and WINUMx ones are 12-px tall. When using only 15-px tall fonts, STTNUMx digits (16-px tall) could be used with no problem, I suppose.

Now, the letters "B" and "X" in their 12-px versions seem obtainable: "B" can be found in several places (e.g. Tower Of Babel, Hell Beneath, Deimos LaB etc.) and "X" can be found from "Sfx Volume". No 15-px instance, though, and Z doesn't seem to be available in either size.

However, there might be a workaround: a 15-unit tall X could be fabricated programmatically by using the right half of a 15-unit "K" or the top part of a 15-px "Y". Also, "Z" in both sizes can be fabricated as a sideways "N". A "B" might might fabricated by using the top halves of either an "R" or a "P" (plus perhaps some retouching on the lower part, so it's "closed"). Also, individual "dots" can be derived from the various 12px and 16px percent graphics, as well as "slash" and "backslash" graphics.

Edit: now that I think about it, the above ^ is pretty sad. Just include a ready-made PWAD and fuck the whiners ;-)

Last edited by Maes on 08-14-13 at 02:00

Old Post 08-14-13 01:49 #
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Quasar
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I was talking about the tallest type of letter, only. I already have a full set of the smaller ones. I apologize for not knowing the exact pixel counts as, really, that's something I couldn't care less about.

But you're right. It would take a thousand or more lines of code to try to fabricate those letters algorithmically, and they'd probably come out looking like total shit too.

Old Post 08-14-13 12:54 #
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Maes
I like big butts!


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Quasar said:
I apologize for not knowing the exact pixel counts as, really, that's something I couldn't care less about.


I just quoted the graphics heights found after giving them a quick look with XWE, FWIW :-p

Old Post 08-14-13 15:24 #
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fabian
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Sokoro said:

So what if I open doom iwad fonts in one window and start new font picture in other window, then start to redraw all fonts by pixel after pixel and then release the result as public domain. Is that legal?



If you redraw a bitmap font pixel-by-pixel you are doing an actual copy which is most probably not legal. (In contrast to outline fonts, where the number and arrangement of covered pixels on the display is just one possible representation).

Old Post 08-20-13 10:13 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Just throwing it out there that I really hate the current big font in Odamex. Even if the ZDoom iwad-derived font can't be used, I'd rather see something closer to Doom style.

Old Post 08-20-13 22:41 #
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