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truetype font licensing

Hello everyone. Please cc me on any replies as I am not subscribed. 

In this thread on debian-devel: 

Bug#156503: microsoft changed its policy, msttcorefonts broken

I have prposed that I want to try to create a ttf-latin meta package that
will depend on a number of packages containing gpl'ed truetype fonts
suitable for daily use, as a replacement for the now defunct
msttcorefonts package. This package was always nonfree anyway, and
doesn't really fit the social contract. 

Unfortunately, I only know of two ttf fonts that are explicitly
licensed under the gpl: dustismo, from cheapskate fonts, and metatype,
from metatype.sourceforge.net. 

I will be making a package shortly for dustismo, and am talking with
the author about the possibility of more gpl'ed fonts. I have also
emailed the maintainer of metatype, as his font needs some more work
and I'm willing to work on it, but I haven't received a response yet. 

What a long winded prelude! I want to ask you about how, or if, I
should approach some other font authors to see if they are interested
in releasing their fonts under the gpl. 

Searching for free fonts, I came across this list from a prof at
mcgill university:


and emailed him to see if he knows of any which are gpl'ed or under
similar free licenses. he pointed me to this list, of original font
authors, not just collections:


and said I should talk to those authors, and that he doesn't know of
any under free licenses. 

So, should I contact these font authors to ask them about licensing?
How should I approach them? Is there someone else more appropriate and
interested who is a dd and has a d.o email address? (i'm still in the
nm process)

There is also the issue of the Bigelow and Holmes fonts in xfree86,
which are licensed under a non free license which restricts
modification. Branden Robinson and Juliusz Chroboczek already
contacted them to discuss licensing, and received no response. I think
we should try again. 

I'm very interested in providing high quality type to the free
software community, and I want to do whatever I can to make that
happen. If that means finding gpl or dfsg compliant fonts, then so be
it. If I can't find any and have to make my own, I plan to do so. 

thank you for your time


michael cardenas | lead software engineer | lindows.com | hyperpoem.net

"Searching for the Truth through words and speech is like sticking your head in a bowl of glue."
- Yuan Wu

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