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Liberation fonts

A news found on Linuxhelp:

Visit any random website and chances are the website expects your machine to have a set of fonts which have become the de-facto standard on the Internet. The fonts being Arial, Times New Roman, Courier New and so on. While it may not be illegal to install these fonts on a Linux machine, they are propritery and are owned by Microsoft. And Microsoft does not licence third parties to redistribute these fonts - a reason why you don't find these commonly used popular fonts installed in Linux by default.

This is going to change once and for all.

Red Hat in association with Ascender Corp has developed a set of fonts which are the metric equivalent of the most popular Microsoft fonts, and they have released it under the GPL+exception license.

Read the full article

A few more details from the Redhat press release:

To address this issue and to take a key step toward liberating desktops, Red Hat contracted with Ascender Corp., one of the leading commercial developers of fonts, to develop a set of fonts that are metrically equivalent to the key Microsoft fonts. Under the terms of that development agreement, Ascender retains rights in the fonts and can provide them under a traditional proprietary license to those who require such a license, e.g. printers that have fonts embedded in their firmware, but Red Hat receives a license that permits us to sublicense the fonts at no cost under the GPL+font exception. The fonts are being developed in two stages. The first release is a set of fully usable fonts, but they will lack the fully hinting capability (hinting adjusts font pixelization so that the fonts render with high quality at large and small sizes) provided by TrueType/FreeType technology. That release is now ready. The second release will provide full hinting of the fonts, and that release will be available by the end of the calendar year.

Read the details of the press release.

And last but not least, download the first version of the fonts from here