W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-font@w3.org > July to September 2009

RE: The unmentionable

From: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 22:59:31 +0000
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <045A765940533D4CA4933A4A7E32597E021132BF@TK5EX14MBXC120.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
>From: www-font-request@w3.org [mailto:www-font-request@w3.org] On Behalf
>Of John Hudson


>I understood that to be your point. My counter point is that the
>differences between fonts and music, and the different customer base,
>imply different markets, not least in terms of scale. I don't think the
>retail MP3 business model has anything to do with 'trusting customers'
>per se, and everything to do with an economy of scale in which massive
>unlicensed copying and sharing is an acceptable cost of doing business
>because the income from the people who pay are similarly massive. This
>is because, as a consumer product, the overall demand for music files
>includes a very large number of people who will pay. The overall demand
>for fonts includes a relatively small number of people who will pay, and
>a majority of other people who either refuse to pay or who simply don't
>realise that they are supposed to pay.
>
>Further, the vast majority of computer users are exposed to fonts as
>things that 'come with their computer', either bundled with the OS or
>with other software. They are not customers of the font vendors in any
>direct sense, so it is not a question of whether we trust our customers
>or not. Our actual customers tend to understand our position because we
>have relationships with them -- at least, we tend to if we're small
>independent font foundries in which the font vendor is also the type
>designer --, and they understand the value of what we're licensing to
>them. And, once again, the people who are concerned about protecting
>fonts against casual misuse are in some cases the customer and the web
>author.
>
>For the most part, we trust our customers just fine. It's everyone else
>we worry about. :)

So would it be fair to say that you're worried about people who are not
your customers today and likely will not be tomorrow ? How does their
behavior affect the font business then ? Revenue-wise, specifically ?

I must admit I've sort of assumed that the primary font buyer was and would
remain a design professional for quite some time, in which case the future
piracy of today's non-customers could not hurt anyone's bottom line since
you already earn $0 from them today.

Which is indeed very distinct from the music business where the average
customer is much more likely to substitute a free illegal copy for the
legal version i.e. even if they copy much more than they could or would buy,
the availability of free means they may no longer buy at all.


Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 23:00:15 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Saturday, 11 June 2011 00:14:03 GMT