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Re: Emails for pwld

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 18:33:20 +0000
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Message-Id: <A17A0096-4464-11D8-878D-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>


You've realised an important issue: copyright for fonts and graphics 
isn't the same.

why not read what Lawrence Lessig, who is a lawyer has to say, in the 
link posted:

There are royalty free fonts available for most display systems, 
whether electronic or printed.
This isn't true for Graphics, and even more significantly.
Meaning isn't related to the font, but is dependent very clearly on the 

Read the article, and you'll understand a little better.

This means that graphic users are at a serious disadvantage.

Now consider the process of creating a royalty free font: a lot of 
labour, on a limited character set.
A royalty free graphics library is a very different conception, what 
gets excluded?
As discussed news photos are essential, but unavailable at present.....

As you seem to hint, it would be helpful if only commercial 
organisations had to pay royalties on news photos, but that isn't the 
current state.

Open source, and royalty free symbolic libraries may also be needed:
There is another project in genesis to explore the possibilities of 
exchanging semantic descriptions of symbolic libraries, and thus 
maintain ownership of the graphic. It never needs to be published, only 
the name is posted. This saves bandwidth but is that essential? No! its 
almost certainly easier to exchange symbols and ask users to comment, 
but that isn't possible if users have different symbol sets...... The 
red bus problem.
To my mind this is all the evidence one needs to know; and a royalty 
free symbolic graphics library is essential.

A published graphic gets comments (from people who don't use any 
symbolic graphics library,) and this speeds understanding.
If you get an email from someone who wrote it using symbolic graphics, 
and its in text, this doesn't help one understand their perspective.
"This is a picture of me"  or 



On Sunday, January 11, 2004, at 01:44  pm, David Woolley wrote:

>> The really sad thing is that whilst fonts were invented before
>> copyright kicked in, and thus we can find copyright and royalty free
>> fonts, the same cannot be said for graphics. Imagine trying to publish
> I think the real reason for this is that if the printed rendition of
> fonts were copyrightable, every copy of a publication would require
> royalties to the font owners as well as to the content owners.  (E.g.
> you might have a notice on a form saying "You may use this form or
> a photocopy of it, but if you use a photocopy, you must send
> $0.01 royalties to Monotype (chosen as a random example) as 
> royalties.")
> At the time that fonts became commercialised (which predates probably
> all fonts in common use), this wasn't a great problem as the font 
> owners
> could get their royalties from the typecasting machine makers.
> Modern technology has changed this, and anyone can reproduce more
> or less perfect characters from a font.
> The situation has changed now, because most people use computer outline
> fonts, like True Type and Adobe Type 1 and these are copyrightable on
> the basis that they are computer programs.  It seems to be accepted
> that fonts converted to bitmaps are the equivalent of printed images 
> and
> therefore have special exemptions from copyright, but I am not a lawyer
> and this may vary from country to country.
> Almost every font that people here use is actually subject to 
> copyright,
> and probably every font's design postdates copyright law.
> Some outline fonts are made royalty free as loss leaders, to establish 
> a
> brand (typically the old and basic designs from the major foundaries).
> Many are royalty free because they are low quality amateur designs,
> typically of display fonts (i.e. ones for effect, not for ease of
> reading).  Finally, printers and GUI operating environments need fonts
> to work, so the royalty for some fonts is bundled into the royalty for
> the containing product.
> Stock photographs are not used in every document, and have 
> traditionally
> been sourced directly rather than through stock photo printing
> machines[1], so directly charging royalties has not been a problem with
> them, so they have not needed the special treatment that applies to 
> fonts.
> My understanding (not legal advice) of the current situation is that 
> you
> can get away with rendering a font into a GIF file and embedding 
> that[2].
> You can probably get away with hand tracing the outline of the bit map
> of a font and embedding that, but if you embed an outline, e.g. in a
> PDF or Flash document (free Flash fonts are generally bit maps, 
> though),
> or by using an Embedded Open Type font with IE or an SVG font, derived
> from a True Type, etc., font, you must respect the copyright licence
> on the font and pay any necessary royalties.  This is a contributory
> factor to the preference for text as images over embedded fonts.
> [1] However, nowadays stock photo CDs and DVDs fill this sort of role.
> Often they have special licensing for "non-commercial" use, with the
> royalty included in the price of the CD, but "commercial" users are
> likely to have to pay for the specific image as well.
> [2] Font foundaries are probably not happy with this; they both lose
> royalties and have the quality of their product misrepresented by
> conversion from scaleable format to a fixed image.
Jonathan Chetwynd
"A web by people with learning difficulties"
Received on Sunday, 11 January 2004 13:27:13 UTC

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