New license of the fonts
(I maintain all our previous words to help understand the new readers.
Please excuse me the other readers).
I am very aware of the lack of quality fonts in the open source
community. In fact, over the past year or so I have been looking at
different options of helping the community in that regard. The lack is
certainly considerable when it comes to text faces, so I've been working
on a few text types that would come in handy for the open source
Thank you very much. I'm proud to see that the best people are working
to help the community. And you and the team are the best in typography.
I do have a few concerns however, and hopefully you and your
free software associates would be able to help me reach a solution for
proper licensing of whatever I want to donate to the community.
I hope so. I'm sending the mail to Roberto Majadas and Miguel de Icaza
(GNOME) and I think that they can forward it to the lawyers of the GNOME
Foundation. Also, to the debian-legal list and my friend Amaya (Debian),
hopping to get advice from the Debian legal experts. I'm not an expert
at all about the legal issues, so I prefere to read what the really
experts have to say. And I think that GNU should know about this really
In all the three examples, we arise the same point: the license of
your team work is great, but is not 100% compatible with our
guidelines about free software. And I think, my friend, that we all
think pretty much the same way about what freedom must be in this
I certainly have no problem with that. I wish Jose, Miguel, Roberto and
their crews the best of luck in advancing their projects. My only
concern with making any lab fonts public domain is the possibility of
people selling them. I don't mind if people charge nominal fees for
handling the software's storage devices, or a small fee for distribution
services, but I am really opposed to someone selling the fonts that I
make and give away for free. As you said later in your email, maybe this
is something that the legal team of GNOME can help me solve with
appropriate licensing that can keep the GNU crowd happy while at the
same time things don't turn commercial and the font designer's credit
doesn't get lost in the flood of future changes.
I absolutly agree with you. It seems that it is a matter to find the
_exact_ words you need for your license.
So, we all are kindly asking to you about the posibility of changing
the license of (some of) your fonts. There are a few valid licences,
not necesarily GPL or BSD; we think more apropiate Artistic License
<http://www.perl.com/pub/a/language/misc/Artistic.html>. I'm sure that
the legal team of the GNOME Foundation can help you to determine the
most appropiate free licence to your work, in case you are willing to
Of course. The artistic license seems quite fitting at first glance, but
I'll have to take a closer look at it before deciding. Meanwhile, if
anyone from GNOME's legal team would like to help me draft a license
that would keep everyone happy, I would be grateful. Again, my only
concerns about this whole thing is that the fonts don't become
commercial, and that due credit is given to the original designer(s).
Other than that, I'm quite happy just seeing the fonts being used by
people all over the world.
IMHO is it posible to use a new license, if no existing one fits exactly
with our need. You (we) can write, say, the "Apostrophic License", with
the conditions needed by the team (I agree heartfully with your
conditions), and still conforming with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
That said, there are a few things I should remind you of before we go
on. As you already know, the lab is composed of not only me, but 29
other designers. Some of those designers have moved to other cities and
I have no way of contacting them in order to ask them if they would like
their fonts to be part of the new licensing. (Derek for example has
moved to California, and we've lost contact with each other for more
than a year now). The majority of the lab's designers are still around
and in touch, however, so I will circulate an email asking them what
they think of all this. I'm almost sure that their reply will be
positive and encouraging, but as I just said, I cannot really free the
work of the designers with whom I cannot communicate (so I guess Derek's
fonts becoming free software is not a possibility).
It's a pitty about Derek (I hope he is fine), I like very much his work
(I love Covington). You are right, Freddy, the team are a lot of people,
and we respect their work. We have to know what they think, of course.
And, in my opinion, this exciting matter of TheLab going free (as in
speech) have to be done right, not fast. I think that this is as
important as the OpenOffice.org release, because your work is the best
in the free (as in beer) arena, and the bigger. Yes, I have to say again
that your work is the best technically, the same way that Apache is the
best server, or The GIMP is a leader (you know, but I want to say it
again for our readers) or BIND is an Internet basic.
Please think about what this can be: if (some of) TheLab fonts were
free enough to be distributed with Debian, all the others GNU/Linux
distributions will include them as well. So there will be millions of
people with Apostrophic Laboratories fonts in their desktops.
That's a great visual of the future, Pedro. I will make sure to mention
it to the designers when I ask them what they think. It's all good!
Freedom and joy to everyone!
:-) Yes, Freddy, I'm very optimistic. I dislike a lot of things in this
world, but still think that we can change them. We are a great team, we
have the technical skills, but we have a hot beating heart that moves
our brains. We have to win. We will do.
All the best,
Type & Technology Director
343 Kingswood Road
Canada M4E 3N8