No, but we can see whether or not the growth of free fonts (proxied by e.g. number of fonts on dafont over time) has led to a corresponding decrease in sales of commercial fonts (proxied by e.g. total revenue on Myfonts or similar over time). If you're trying to assert that free fonts pose a danger to paid fonts, that's the sort of evidence you're going to need to show.John Savard said:Is it? It's not as if we can actually do an experiment, setting up two parallel timelines with and without free fonts.This statement is empirically testable. What’s the evidence base?
This is not how climate science works. It's precisely because we can plot historical data that we can determine real trends rather than outliers. So having historical data about sales certainly would help your claim about free fonts destroying the market. (Or, I suspect, hinder it.)Ben Blom said:I do not have any empirical data, whether the font market is actually in decline, or not. And even if I would have such data, it wouldn’t be very clear. It’s like the climate. If one year is unusually hot, it’s not clear whether that is a manifestation of climate change, or an exceptional year. As with climate change, there may be a “tipping point” in the font market, when it will be clear for all, that something has fundamentally changed. Until then, many people may continue to suggest it’s business as usual in the font market.