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Re: Fonts working "out of the box"

On Tue, 21 Aug 2001 17:15:44 -0500, David Starner wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 21, 2001 at 10:40:09PM +0200, Claes Andersson wrote:
> > There are many issues with fonts. As far as I know, no good truetype
> > fonts can be directly distributed with debian. 
> It might be useful for people who look at free fonts on the net to see
> if you can convince an author to release one under a DFSG-free
> license

There seem to be many sites interested in spreading their "free" fonts
far and wide, asking only recognition.  It seems this would not be
incompatible with licensing the fonts under a DFSG-free license; I
suspect it is only the status quo that has all fonts released under "no
redistribution" clauses.

Off the top of my history page, two places look interesting:


Ray Larabie seems genuinely interested in making a social contribution.
His "freeware" fonts have generated a whole community -- he maintains a
discussion forum for the site.

On 16-Jul-2001, Ray announced that he wasn't going to maintain the fonts
anymore, but that he would keep them available on the site "forever".
This sounds like a possible candidate to approach for having the fonts
released under a Free license, since he seems content to never make
money from the fonts.

Fontcraft Webfonts:

The site seems to be another "here's a free sample set of fonts, we hope
you'll buy our other sets" site.  The distribution terms given on the
site are imprecise, but interesting:

  "If you run a website and would like to distribute these fonts to your
  users for free, just put a link on your page. Then you can define them
  in your HTML code (FONT FACE="Sirona,Divona,Onuava") to give your site
  a unique look. All we ask is that you distribute them with a link to
  this page."

I don't know how that would run to a lawyer, but it seems to have at
least an intent that may be compatible with a DFSG-free license.

> there's not that many good useful (non-grunge/decrotive) full (at
> least complete ASCII; preferably a full codepage support) fonts out
> there.

IANAFE, but many fonts at the above two sites seem to be quite
servicable as "default" fonts for a system.  As to their completeness, I
can't say, but I hope that it's worth investigating at least.

The current playing field for licensing fonts seems similar to that for
software ten years ago: many companies make a living out of proprietary
fonts, but conversely many talented people want to give away their fonts
and gain recognition for doing so; nobody seems to even consider the
possibility of Free licensing.

What would be the best way of approaching these people who may find that
Free licenses are the best way to distribute their work?  If we find
that fontographers are interested, we may gain a lot of good quality
work quite rapidly.

 \        "Somebody told me how frightening it was how much topsoil we |
  `\   are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire |
_o__)                          and nobody got scared."  -- Jack Handey |
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