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Re: The other party in all this

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 08:35:12 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0907060635n784bd45et7cf9964eb9c14c78@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Cc: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>, www-font@w3.org
On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 2:35 AM, John Hudson<tiro@tiro.com> wrote:
> You paint a depressing picture, Dave, but I
> suppose I should thank you for presenting the reality facing us. Web fonts =
> giving away fonts for free.

Welcome to the digital economy.  ^_^  Ultimately, you're always going
to be trying to sell copies of something that can be reproduced for
free by anyone.  In the end, you'll never be able to make money off of
files themselves, but off of scarcities surrounding it.  Frex, custom
font design will always still be a moneymaker, since the skill,
creativity, and time of a font designer is indeed scarce.

> The business model for font vendors = some
> people will be honest and pay for the fonts that everyone else is getting
> for free. There is no business model for custom fonts on the web: the
> clients are supposed to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars and then
> turn around and give away the asset.

You could make an identical argument for any digital industry.  It's
just not true.  Transitioning into the digital economy changes
markets, but it doesn't typically destroy them.  It's certainly
possible that custom fonts (at least in the $100k+ range) may not
remain viable for most in the medium term.  There may still be a
market (governments, etc) but overall, who knows?

> Perhaps I should go sign up for that wooden boat building course now.

Sorry, the Pirate Bay is starting up a piracy course soon.  ;_;

~TJ
Received on Monday, 6 July 2009 13:36:08 GMT

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