1Mostly-free OCR B
3This font is used in UPC bar code symbols, including the ISBN symbols on
4most published books.
6A freely distributable version seems to be sorely needed.  Until now, it's
7been very difficult to find the font in computer-usable format except by
8paying a high fee to a commercial font vendor.  Even many serious commercial
9publishers have so much trouble getting it right that they just go ahead and
10use Helvetica instead, or even (shudder) Arial.  Since the OCR B font is
11required by an international standard, it seems like it ought to be free.
12So here it is.  The font in this package is not a "ripped", pirated, or
13shadily reverse engineered version; every effort has been made to ensure
14that it genuinely derives from free sources and all the creators involved
15have actually intended it for free public use.
17Converted by Matthew Skala from Metafont format to Postscript and TrueType
18formats, July 28, 2006, using mftrace 1.2.4 by Paul Vojta, which is
19available from
20   http://www.xs4all.nl/~hanwen/mftrace/
21and Autotrace 0.31.1 available from
22   http://autotrace.sourceforge.net/
24The Metafont files (not included - see notes below) were coded by Norbert
25Schwarz in the 1980s, based on German standards documents.  He has attached
26a notice, notably not actually claiming any copyright - see the file
27"ocrbinfo" - saying that the fonts are "given to free non commercial use",
28but commenting that he is only free to grant rights to his own work on the
29digitization, because he did not design the original letter forms.  He
30suggests that there may be other copyright claims attached to the letter
31forms themselves, which Schwarz credits as being originally designed by
32"Adam Frutiger" [sic], almost certainly a mistake for Adrian Frutiger.  My
33(Matthew Skala's) understanding of copyright law, at least in the USA and
34Canada, is that in fact typefaces per se cannot be subject to copyright
35claims, so the software embodiment is the only thing subject to copyright
36and Schwarz's release makes it available for whatever "non commercial use"
39To avoid muddying the waters further, any copyright claims by Matthew Skala
40on these files are hereby released to the public domain.  I'd like for these
41fonts to be freely usable even in marginally commercial applications, such
42as to generate UPC labels for books that will be sold for profit, but it may
43not be within my power to grant that myself because I didn't write the
44Metafont files although I did do considerable, and probably copyrightable,
45work on the translation to Postscript and TrueType.  It was *not* a purely
46automated process; try using the tools I used and see how far you get
47without human editing!  I'd also like for these fonts (the fonts themselves
48as opposed to documents made with them) not to be sold, not even indirectly
49by those Web sites that advertise "free downloads" but make it difficult to
50actually download fonts without paying a fee.
52NOTE:  This ZIP archive is a stripped-down version containing just the
53essential files for using the main OCR B font on most systems.  If you want
54the much larger complete package, which contains Metafont sources and several
55variant fonts (reverse-video, outline, and slanted), look for a ZIP archive
56called ocrb-complete.zip wherever you found this one.
58Matthew Skala