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Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 08:03:17 -0700
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0907060803yc1a75f6peb0c68d7db101a4e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Cc: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>, Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 5:33 PM, Thomas Lord<lord@emf.net> wrote:
> I should address the "aren't you accusing of us
> of lying?" issue, exemplified by this comment
> from Thomas Phinney:
>
> On Fri, 2009-07-03 at 04:04 -0700, Thomas Phinney wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 3:29 PM, Håkon Wium Lie<howcome@opera.com> wrote:
>> > Also sprach Thomas Lord:
>
>> >  > There is a lot of talk to the effect that concerns TTF/OTF support
>> >  > will lead to "accidental piracy" are the main motivation for
>> >  > resistance to TTF/OTF. I am beginning to believe that that is not
>> >  > really the motivation but, rather, exclusion by incumbents against
>> >  > potential competitors is the driver.
>
>> > I support your analysis.
>
>> Well, that "analysis" is simply wrong. Not to mention offensive, as it
>> requires the assumption that all the font vendors who have discussed
>> the issue are lying.
>
>
> Nonsense.  Of what lie, exactly, do you
> think I am accusing anyone?

It's not just talk: font vendors are in pretty unanimous and
oft-publicly-stated agreement that piracy is the main motivator for
their distaste for desktop fonts on web servers.

For you to claim that something else is the case is to say that they
are lying, plain and simple. You can dress that up however you like.

> They want to maximize the rent price by requiring
> distinct licensing for web use

Actually, a fair number do not actually want to charge extra for web
use. Among others, that was the position Adobe held in my tenure
there.

> They have argued at length that they can not agree
> to allow their fonts to appear "on the web" in
> a format that allows drag and drop to desktops
> (at least Microsoft desktops) because, surely, that
> would lead to widespread unauthorized use of the
> fonts.  That would be objectionable because, at least
> according to microeconomics, it would put downward
> pressure on the price of their licenses.

You'll have to defend that position better. Piracy has never exerted
any downward price pressure in the type industry that I've seen. Quite
the contrary.

> In such a
> circumstance, they would not be inclined to license
> their fonts for web use and so the standard would
> be a failure.

No, they're afraid of linking to desktop fonts on web servers being a
success *with their fonts*, even though they wouldn't license for such
use, even if EOT or some other less trivially pirated format is also
available. So they would be really happy to see not all browsers
supporting desktop fonts.

Personally, I never argued against supporting desktop fonts on web
servers, even when I was representing Adobe. But I certainly
understand the motivations of those font vendors who do argue against
it.

> That being the most significant difference apparent,
> I speculated that it was the primary motive for the
> "No.", a motive about which the vendors and Microsoft
> had been mum.   For this, I was accused of accusing others
> of lying.   Of what lie, exactly, am I supposed to have accused
> the vendors?

If somebody says "I'm opposed to this because of A" (as type vendors
have, pretty unanimously) and you say "clearly their primary motive is
not A but B" you are clearly calling them liars, whether or not you
use the word. You can dress it up however you like.

I won't bother responding to your further postings on the subject.
It's enough work keeping up with the folks who are willing to assume
good faith on the part of people with divergent views.

T
Received on Monday, 6 July 2009 15:03:55 GMT

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