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RE: The unmentionable

From: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 00:51:21 +0000
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <045A765940533D4CA4933A4A7E32597E02122ADA@TK5EX14MBXC111.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
>From: www-font-request@w3.org [mailto:www-font-request@w3.org] On Behalf
>Of John Hudson


>Subject: Re: The unmentionable
>
>Sylvain Galineau wrote:
>
>> 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 ?
>
>As explained here:
>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0822.html

>
>See, particularly, the second big paragraph.

Thank you. I guess I am not completely clear on the actual concrete
harm to the industry's business model in general; it may be more
case-specific ?

>Widespread unlicensed use undermines an important aspect of the value
>that design professionals pay for, namely relative, temporary or
>absolute exclusivity. [By temporary, I mean licensing for exclusive use
>for a fixed period of time.]

That is true. I'm sure someone will quibble that this is not a good
analogy but this reminds me of the qualms a corporation may have at
seeing its brand name become a verb in the common language. Most
of us think that this is a real nice problem to have and wonder what
the hang-up could be when such widespread 'abuse' is a consequence of
a level of success that reached the pages of dictionaries, never mind
the everyday language of a generation.

Yet, many of said corporations resist it furiously for rational reasons.
(While others come up with brand names in the hope that they will be
verbed and that this will drive adoption...)

>This is particularly of concern for commissioners of custom fonts for
>whom the typeface is an important part of their overall visual branding.
>As an example of this, I mentioned the Guardian newspaper, which has
>used custom typefaces to extend its branding to a variety of other
>media.

Custom font design is definitely an area where exclusive use is part of
the product's value proposition. But as widespread unlicensed use is unlikely
to occur overnight and therefore go unnoticed, and as none of the current
proposals can prevent wide or viral abuse from actually occurring,  what do you make of them ?
Received on Thursday, 30 July 2009 00:52:05 GMT

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