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Re: New license of the fonts

> >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.
> >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.

It sounds like what you want is a copyleft, similar to what the GNU GPL
and LGPL require.

While the Free Software Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, the
Debian Project, and just about everyone else agree that to place a
ceiling on the amount of money that may be charged for a copyrighted
work is violative of the principles of Free Software and Open Source
Software, by using a copyleft you can be sure that it is economically
infeasible for someone to attempt to charge an absurd amount of money
for your work, for the right to distribute the work in both "source" and
"compiled" forms is transferred to all people who receive the work.

> >Of course. The artistic license seems quite fitting at first glance, but 
> >I'll have to take a closer look at it before deciding.

If you do, please use the so-called Clarified Artistic License.


> >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.

It definitely sounds like you want a copyleft, which ensures the right
of every user of work to copy, modify, and distribute your work without
having to pay money or any other consideration in exchange for these
rights, above and beyond whatever they gave in exchange for the work in
the first place (which is practically always nothing, or a nominal fee
such as the cost of a CD-R, time/labor and shipping).

> >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).

The Debian Project would not want to encourage you to take liberties
with the licensing on other people's work.  I'm sure the other
organizations in the CC line wouldn't either.

Doing it right is better than doing it fast.

If the Debian Project can help you to select or write a license that
meets your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us at:


G. Branden Robinson                |      "To be is to do"   -- Plato
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      "To do is to be"   -- Aristotle
branden@debian.org                 |      "Do be do be do"   -- Sinatra
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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