[Scribus] pay for plug-in?

Alastair M. Robinson blackfive
Thu Dec 30 01:19:17 CET 2004

Hi Everyone,

Craig Bradney wrote

 > The issue with Pantone etc support is the cost and the actual use of
 > GPL. As soon as it would be GPL'd, anyone could use it. Cant see them
 > allowing that. They could however do the old binary driver trick like
 > ATi and nVidia do and provide a plugin somehow.

To be honest, I don't see the relevance of the GPL here.  I have some 
foggy recollection (though I can't find the reference now) of an 
interview with RMS himself who argued that games are a special case with 
respect to Free Software because they contain a considerable quantity of 
"non-code assets", which IIRC he had no problem with people charging for.

The relevance of this to the current discussion is that I would 
definitely consider a Pantone colour library to be a non-code asset - 
surely it's nothing more than a lookup-table mapping text strings (i.e. 
"Pantone 470 CVC") to a colour (CMYK, XYZ, or whatever colour-space).

In other words, if we already have or can create a well-defined format 
for colour-libraries, then "all" we need is an officially licensed, 
saleable colour library.  This is data, not code, so falls outside the 
GPL's remit.

The only real question is whether we'd have to allow for encrypted 
colour libraries before the suits would allow one to be released.

Louis Desjardins has already enumerated the basic support needed for 
Spot colours / Pantone, thus:
 > 1. The color (plate) name that appears in the Postscript file and
 > ultimately on the film or plate.
 > 2. Onscreen rendering of the spot color
 > 3. Printed rendering on digital printers of the spot color (not
 > offset presses because it's up the pressmen to put the right ink...
 > and then, there is no other issue at the software end than being able
 > to output a plate for the extra color).

As Louis pointed out, for (3) we don't need a Pantone library at all, 
just the ability to tag the plate with an arbitrary string.

However, I would like to add a fourth case, which does require the library:
4. The ability to create a process colour that matches the desired spot 
colour as closely as possible (You can't always justify a fifth plate 
just for that quarter-inch square AA logo on your caravan park brochure, 
for instance...)

All the best,
Alastair M. Robinson

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