W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-font@w3.org > July to September 1996

Re: the alternative?

From: Clive Bruton <Clive@typonaut.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 96 19:53:14 +0000
To: www-font@w3.org
Message-Id: <AE43BCD5@typonaut.demon.co.uk>
Michal Young:
>>I'm wondering what will happen if a working, secure embedding solution
>>isn't made available soon.
>...
>>***This site looks best in StolenFont - click here to automatically
>>download and install this font.***
>
>Exactly. That is what will happen if font embedding is not available soon,
>or if the protection scheme has a non-trivial cost in performance, quality,
>or convenience.

This will *never* happen, any site that is distributing stolen fonts openly on 
the net will be closed down.

>
>Software piracy remains a
>problem, but the abandonment of copy protection has made little difference
>in that regard, and a number of software authors have managed to get rich
>despite widespread piracy.

Would they have gotten rich on one tenth of their income, it is generally 
excepted that font piracy runs at much higher rates than other software.

>
>You can adopt an embedding scheme that users don't object to, or you can
>try to force a more secure scheme on the world --- but the secure scheme
>will just be ignored, and the download scenario will prevail.  

Can you justify this statement with some facts, if the fonts are not available 
for downloading how will that scenario prevail, it doesn't at the moment. Where 
a pdf is distributed without embedded fonts people don't go out searching for 
those missing fonts, they make do with interpolation.

>I include
>authors in the term "users"; a distinction made sense for publishing on
>paper but is rapidly disappearing on the web. 

Perhaps you should consider making a distinction between authors and users, 
authors require fonts to work with and create documents, users only require to 
see the finished documents.

>Users won't tolerate bitmap
>fonts (you can make them fast enough, or good enough, but not both),, 

A weird contradiction here "users won't tolerate bitmaps", have a look at the 
graphics on the web, 99.9% bitmaps, the only viable, widespread solution to 
this is Acrobat, but how often do you see PDF embedded in HTML?

>they won't tolerate font substitution
>(or so the experience with pdf suggests).

Ok, it's very easy to put that one to bed, you seem to be inferring that use of 
Acrobat has increased many fold since the introduction of v2.0 and font 
embedding, unfortunately you're taking the facts and moulding them to your 
theory. Here's the facts:

	Font embedding has been available in Acrobat since version 1.0, take a 
	look at the pdfmark 1.0 spec.

	Acrobat 1.0 didn't achieve widespread aclaim since, IMO, it was 
	mis-marketed by Adobe, a very powerful tool was sold to the wrong
	customers and shunned by the right ones.

	Reader v1.0 cost around $40, which lead to the slow take-up of end-users,
	this was corrected in v2.0 when the Reader became free, a powerful
	incentive.

	The Internet market has grown substantially since v1.0, and so has its 
	requirements for document fidelity, therefore it is not surprising that
	recent versions of Acrobat have better penetration in this market.

I think all of the above disprove your theory, if I understand it correctly - 
if not please feel free to correct.


-- Clive
Received on Friday, 23 August 1996 16:40:35 UTC

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