Subject: Free Software Business Models
From: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 15:55:42 +0100

Hi,

Over on the autonomo.us list, there's been an informal discussion
about if there are better and more profitable business models in the
Free Network Service space than in even the traditional Free Software
one.

So I thought I'd ask here about what free software business models
there are, exactly.

As someone looking to improve free software fonts, there are two
routes open to me: Find a way to get people who don't demand
proprietary-font-developer wages to publish free software fonts, or
find a way to pay font developers who currently work in a proprietary
software business model with a free software business model.

CSS3 has a method for linking fonts to web pages -
http://www.css3.info/preview/web-fonts-with-font-face/ - and this
appears to be the opening for free software business model applied to
font development; most of the incumbent proprietary vendors are
lobbying the W3C for a web font DRM format and refusing to serve the
market until then.

This situation will not last forever, so hiring existing professional
type designers is going to be a lot faster than training up a legion
of amateurs :-)

So I'm very interested to hear the business models that work
for free software, so I can try to roll them out for fonts.

Cheers,
Dave