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Re: "Web fonts — where are we?"

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 07:49:03 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0907200549m3f1544e9pe83aeca4c3562305@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Thank you very much for passing this along, Dave!  Brezina's comment
in number 1 shows an especially well-informed view of the market, and
I'm very glad to see people understanding the bare reality of how
digital objects work at this point.

~TJ

On Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 5:17 AM, Dave Crossland<dave@lab6.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> After the TypeCon web font panel, a summary was posted at
>
> http://ilovetypography.com/2009/07/20/web-fonts-%e2%80%94-where-are-we/
>
> And in the comments, type designer David Březina wrote:
>
> "First of all, John thank you for the summary! It was much needed. I
> find it actually very useful that it did spark some disagreement. It
> helped me to revise some questions/answers and understand situation I
> have not been following.
>
> [1] I think we (type designers) maintain an old illusion about how our
> market works. People do not buy fonts because they could not get them
> for free anywhere else. They buy them out of sympathy, understanding
> the value of our work and/or legal reasons. They could get them for
> free, easier, and faster (!). It is not that we would be shooting in
> our faces. It is more like we have been shot already. We already
> accepted the piracy as a burden of our business.
>
> If I am right in this view, we do not need any kind of DRM. The
> expected "new" web piracy won't change a thing. I would very much like
> to see some study or educated estimate re this view. Or at least an
> authoritative opinion. It is crucial information for designers in
> order to evaluate the formats properly. Otherwise, they are just left
> aiming for the most security.
>
> [2] What we, however, want is a tool to limit webfont licences
> exclusively for web. We want to make a profit out of this #webrisk and
> keep distinction between web and print fonts. Why? If I am not sure
> whether opening my fonts for web use is going to make me money I would
> rather keep the new market separated from the old working one. That is
> the motivation behind the web-specific format. Acceptance of
> non-security, but limited to web.
>
> Personally, I think that opening to web market is surely going to make
> a profit. An objectively, we are not going to have strictly (that is:
> not-convertible) webspecific format ever. Not with current
> technologies where the fonts are described with curves. The only
> option I see is bitmap fonts &amp;c.
>
> .webfonts is just bundled metadata with print font (we can have them
> in OT table as Berlow suggest, why another format simple-to-hack when
> most are not going to care?), EOT Lite is a very thin wrapper as far
> as I understood, but at least not so trivial. It will become easy
> convertible (assumption), but at least something. Typekit and similar
> tools offer only limited security by obfuscation. So far too easy to
> circumvent. These techniques are not imo worth complicating life of
> paying customers. Even though the interface is sexy, it is still
> another interface.
>
> Therefore: prepare the fonts for web (have them subsetted, add web
> exclusive license, permission tables, …) and go naked! Or if you are
> shy, have EOT Lite.
>
> [Please note that this is still an opinion under development, was and
> will be revised, and it is not an opinion of TypeTogether.]"
>
> I think this is one of the most sensible and perceptive things I've
> heard from a type designer on this issue, and thought it worth
> bringing to the attention of this list.
>
> Cheers,
> Dave
>
>
Received on Monday, 20 July 2009 12:50:05 GMT

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