In 1999 the Freetype project was informed by Apple Incorporated that FreeType was infringing patents related to TrueType font hinting. Following that, Freetype deactivated by default or worked around patent relating technologies. Therefore, had FreeType included with font hinting functionality disabled or degraded to avoid the issue of software patents held by Apple Inc. Since May 2010, all conflicting software patents related to font hinting expired, allowing FreeType's TrueType font hinter to be used in open source.
Rather that someone compiled a library with the default setting (no font-hints).