Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

Re: [SLUG] Proprietary colour names (was GIMP was...)

On Mon, 2009-05-18 at 15:53 +0100, Richard Ibbotson wrote:
> ... much better than it was but some sort of Pantone colour 
> integration would be good (eventually).  An open source version of 
> that would need to be implemented.

Which is what the hold up is, at least as I understand it.

The Pantone colour palate (specifically their name-to-ink-colour
mappings) is Pantone's proprietary intellectual property and they have
chosen not to let them be used in libre ways.

[they make tons of money printing swatch books of the mappings and
licencing the names. This is not dissimilar to the business model used
by most font foundries, which is why there are so few libre fonts. The
difference is that anyone can create a font, whereas an industry
standard that is not an open standard with libre data is a bottleneck]

As long as the graphics arts industry continue to use those names to
identify, and the printing industry uses such names to distinguish the
pile of coloured bottles on the shelf, then apparently there's nothing
we can do. ie, we are free to come up with our own names for inks,
release them freely, and manufacture said inks to our hearts content.
But this doesn't do us the least bit of good until such time as such
inks were widely available at printing houses as an alternative to the
Pantone copyright ones. And that ain't about to happen.

It's exasperating, but the names & mapping are their property. I think
most people who need to would be happy to pay for access, but a) such a
datapack would be non-redistributable, and in any case b) since people
are used to getting it for "free" (in products whose vendors have
already paid Pantone for a licence), people don't really get the idea
that there's a cost to it.

So maybe we need to go on a crusade to convince ink manufacturers to
_also_ label their products with [some hypothetical set of
redistributable] names, as well as Pantone ones.


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