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Dave Crossland

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Dave Crossland
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  • Re: Public domain pros and cons

    Personal opinion, not legal advice:

    John, you are raising a point that I was only referencing by implication, so I want to thank you for that. My view is that in the eu and many other places, unlike the us, and as Khaled had said, you can't put something in the public domain, it can only have the monopoly rights adhered to it expire. So if your intent is to gift something to humanity, to make it available to everyone, which seems to me the actual urge behind an attempt to put something in the public domain, then the ofl and licenses like it keep that intent intact, while licenses like cc0 and mit/bsd/Apache do not and allow that intent to be subverted by downstream 3rd parties. Maybe you don't mind your work that you intended for everyone with a computer not being available to everyone with a computer, but it seems kind of short sighted to me. 

    Ray, you say you want fewer support emails. Only the ofl is going to deliver that, because everything else is less common and going to generate more questions. Adam and John both know from the Noto mailing list how many questions Noto gets, under ofl, so there's no way away from it, but using the same license as the majority of other libre fonts (with an extensive and well maintained FAQ) is the best Ray can do. (Well maybe the way to get away from it completely is to ask someone else to maintain the fonts. I'm happy to do that...  If they are ofl :)

    In the USA typeface designers are categorically all public domain except those subject to design patents which are very few and those last for 15 years. In the eu there are design rights that adhere for a few years unless registered and then join the public domain; if registered they join after 5 years unless re-registered, which can be done up to a maximum term of 25 years. In most places it's ambiguous. In Israel typeface designs are subject to regular authoring copyrights, so I'm not sure how anyone draws anything there without risking a lawsuit. Well, they just shoulder the risk, I guess. 

    Anyway, I don't think the meaning of the public domain is that all monopoly rights expired, that's just the situation. The meaning of all monopoly rights expiring is that the public's freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute the work is unfettered; and no monopoly rights can be re-adhered (as far as I know.) So the ofl recreates that situation before the monopoly rights expire. 
  • Re: Public domain pros and cons

     
    Or, offer the font under the user's choice of several highly permissive licenses.
    That's also not a good idea imho, because if the OFL is one of them, it prohibits redistribution by downstream people "under any other license."

    The OFL and only the OFL is the best way to make font available without restrictions to the general public, with requirements that maintain the work in that status. Everything else was not written for the unique situation that a font is in, and doesn't fit quite right in some way. 
    If you want to allow unrestricted use, the spirit of public domain, use the sil ofl. 

    Or the fantastically simple and unrestrictive MIT license: the 'do-whatever-the-fuck-you-want' license.
    Rather, that's http://www.wtfpl.net ;) But WTFPL is a terrible idea for serious work, not only because it is inherently unwelcome in important contexts (eg, anything involving kids, and some businesses) but because it is not legally sound (and therefore prohibited in large businesses.) 

    The MIT license has a similar problem to the main CC licenses, in that it requires distribution of the license alongside the work, and since the design is subject to copyright or other rights in some places, and doesn't have a document embedding exception, then the simple requirement is prohibitively restrictive.
  • Re: Public domain pros and cons

    Copyleft keeps things in the public domain, so it's a great choice if that's your intent :)
  • Re: Type Design Workshops or Classes in LA

    If you can find a venue, myself and the www.craftingtype.com crew might be able to offer a 3 day beginners workshop in LA :) 
  • Re: Naming font modifications

    Bhikkhu, I disagree in the strongest terms. The version number is rarely exposed to end users at all, let alone prominently. John's advice is, as always, sterling.