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16 July 2010, 15:54

FreeType 2.4 now free from patent restrictions

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FreeType Logo The FreeType development team has released version 2.4 of the rendering library for TrueType and PostScript fonts. FreeType is used in almost all Linux and open source Unix systems. The latest version is also much more stabile when dealing with broken or damaged font files.

The most important change is probably the demise of legal hurdles to using the bytecode interpreter for TrueType fonts. The interpreter significantly improves representation of TrueType fonts, but had been under patent protection. Consequently, activating the bytecode interpreter for TrueType fonts had previously required the corresponding compile option to be explicitly activated when compiling the library.

Because global patents expired in May, Libfreetype version 2.4 and later will now compile with the bytecode interpreter activated by default. This will admittedly not affect users directly, since most Linux distributions have long supplied Libfreetype with the bytecode interpreter activated.


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