mail at mray.de
Mon Mar 23 04:05:37 PDT 2009
Nicolas Spalinger wrote:
>> I still haven't reached a conclusion on how to described free fonts
>> best. "free fonts" speaks to freeware fonts that are often
>> non-commercial, non-modifiable and even non-redistributable.
> Let me try and make the case for another term again :-)
> (quickly as other commitments want my time).
> Just try a "free font" search in your preferred search engine and see
> what comes up. (it's also worth nothing that a pan Unicode font project
> is called "FreeFont": interesting case of blanket semantic
> You can easily see that the huge majority of well-know designers and
> foundries which sometimes release "free fonts" are doing it under
> restricted licensing: here's a recent example from Ascender:
> They can do what they want but for us to be using the very same term to
> describe what our community is doing is not a good idea! Only a
> potentially painful source of confusion :-(
> "free fonts" is really a semantic trap we should avoid...
> I disagree with the purpose of consciously choosing an ambiguous term
> which will confuse/dilute even further the notion of
> redistributable-modifiable font software for the vast majority of the
> font design community.
> I don't think want to spend our life trying to re-explain/assign new
> meaning to the concept of what our community is doing to everyone who
> has been associating "free fonts" with
> freeware-do-not-modify-redistribute-sell-fonts for ages. How can we
> distance ourselves and express our focus on quality if we use the same
> term? This ambiguity would actually harm our goals.
> I highly recommend "libre/open fonts" instead to describe fonts which
> respect the 4 foundational software freedoms as defined by the FSF in
> the specific context of fonts: run the program for any purpose, study
> and adapt the program to your needs, distribute copies of the program,
> improve and release improvements to the program.
> I think there's a good reason both license and library already have
> "open" in the name. (Note that I'm advocating "libre/open" and not "open
> What do others think?
Your thoughts make sense.
But don't you think that introducing "free/libre" would just add a new
level of confusion?
- Supposing we really stick with it and use it all the time -
There is already a big effort trying to define the freedom we seek for!
The more I think about it, I think we should support that effort and
fight for the term "free".
How sad if we're so intimidated that we start to look for alternatives
for the word "free".
There are big downsides, but if the term "free" is exactly what we mean,
and exactly what it is - then we are obligated to use it!
Freedom is ours! ;)
(And I'm willing to explain the difference between "gratis" and
"freedom" until every freeware font resource starts labeling its stuff
"gratis/no-cost/giveway/..whatever" instead of just "free".)
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