August 11th, 2009

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Font stuff coming at me from all directions

First it was someone wanting me to put together a package of Prociono to make it easier to turn into a Fedora package. Then it was someone wanting to put my fonts in a book of some sort for distribution to Japanese graphic designers. Now most recently it is wanting to provide my fonts at http://wix.com for customers to use; I think they were unaware, before talking to me, of how many fonts (not just my few) were already available to use.

Then there was a disappointment, in which I discovered that a site full of such fonts, http://openfontlibrary.org, where I have posted my fonts before, now offers only a choice between the SIL Open Font License and putting your font into the public domain. They are trying to make up for this by including a list of sites where you can get fonts under different free licenses, and my site was already listed (thanks to whoever listed it), but Open Font Library seems to be where people like Fedora packagers tend to find my fonts.

No doubt, however, where I get the most downloads is from http://dafont.com, a site that includes restricted freeware fonts. Recently Goudy Bookletter 1911 passed its 50,000th download there. By contrast, I just checked at deviantART, and there it has been downloaded fewer than 1800 times. Dafont is extremely popular.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Alternate licensing

I think I’m going to write a script that automagically converts my MIT-licensed fonts into equivalent OFL-licensed ones, so I can post them at openfontlibrary.org. It’ll be a font with ‘OFL’ included in the name and a different copyright notice, but otherwise the same. This approach seems like it wouldn’t be as difficult to manage as a single font with dual licensing; also it is more in the spirit of the OFL license, which is one of those that makes you change the names of derivative works; and it is less likely to give me bug reports that are due to duplicate fonts being installed.

(Anyone could turn one of my MIT-licensed fonts into an OFL-licensed font, anyway, if I am correct. That wouldn’t be true if I were using the GNU copyleft or some such.)