By my count there are now three Hebrew fonts that are licensed with open source licenses:
- The SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) http://Ezra SIL font
- David Perry's Cardo (using SIL's Open Font License version 1.1)
- and the Culmus Project's Ancient Semitic Scripts family of fonts including Keter YG (using GPL v2 with the font exception clause).
The willingness of these projects to open source the development, modification, and adaptation of their fonts is, I think, both noteworthy and laudable. I would love to see SBL follow the lead of SIL in opening up their font, currently restricted to scholarly and educational use only.
Given the twenty year history (at least) of Hebrew font development, I'm concerned that there are some abandoned or orphaned Hebrew fonts. Some of these were made "free" prior to the formulation of any of the popular open source licenses (or GPL's font exception clause). Others were developed prior to Unicode 4+. Any contribution of these older fonts to the cultural commons would be a great boon for open source projects committed to providing freely licensed resources for wide adoption and adaptation.
If anyone here knows of some fonts that would be good targets for open source licensing, I'd like to hear from them.
Founder & Director
The Open Siddur Project
An open source (Print-to-Digital-to-Print) Design Your Own Siddur Project