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Re: the discussion is over, resistance time

From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2009 10:03:15 -0700
To: Gustavo Ferreira <gustavo.ferreira@hipertipo.net>
Cc: www-font@w3.org
Message-Id: <1246554195.6767.19.camel@dell-desktop.example.com>
On Thu, 2009-07-02 at 09:25 +0200, Gustavo Ferreira wrote:
> On Jul 2, 2009, at 4:45 AM, Thomas Lord wrote:
> 
> > Ask Zapf.
> 
> Yeah, go ask him. Then tell us what he has to say.
> 
> (I find your comment disrespectful.)


I'm certain that it is an angry comment but
I don't think it was disrespectful.

I'm specifically thinking of what is often
described as the wide-spread plagiarism of
his work. That history teaches a relevant 
lesson.

This is not to advocate plagiarism or even
to state an opinion over whether or not 
what Zapf experienced is best described
as plagiarism.

Rather, this is to look at history and
observe how markets respond to overly 
exuberant attempts to maximize the rent
on fonts.   Attempts to keep the rents too 
high result in a "routing around" the problem.
As rich and wonderful as the restricted-license
catalogs are, there are limits to how the rest
of the market can be expected to adjust itself
to conform to the royalty management technologies
demanded by a few.

In the case at hand, at least per Microsoft, 
we are asked to accept the requirement of 
using a new format on the web whose sole rationale
is that if other people want their programs to be
able to use web fonts, the programs must all be 
changed to recognize the new format.   Programs
will become more bloated.  Users will encounter 
needless conversion issues even when using publicly
licensed web fonts.   The maintenance burden of font
code in all these programs will go up.  No useful
functionality will be provided users that could not
be better provided by other means.

That is quite a demand and its a bit hard to 
stomach.  It's a bit hard to imagine how such an outcome
possibly fits with the mission of W3C.
The demand appears to cross that line beyond which
people will "route around" the issue.

What I think is insulting is to have seen that
demand reiterated in the face of multiple offers
for a better compromise - ones that would satisfy
the stated goals of font vendors as we've seen them
represented here.

Thanks,
-t
Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 17:03:57 GMT

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