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Re: [css3-webfonts] Proposal-in-progress for cross site font sharing [was "Downloaded fonts should not..."]

From: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 22:27:19 +0100
Message-ID: <2285a9d20804181427s62e993ccx5bffc60ce391ee10@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Brad Kemper" <brkemper@comcast.net>
Cc: "www-style mailing list" <www-style@w3.org>

On 18/04/2008, Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net> wrote:
> I have about a thousand fonts in my collection (mostly from when
> I did print design), and probably about a third of them are freeware
> fonts with no licensing restrictions

Please don't assume that 'freeware' fonts have no restrictions.
Typically you cannot modify them, at all, which includes converting
them to other formats. That is why 'free software' fonts are
important: Having the freedom to modify fonts is as important as the
freedom to modify other kinds of software.

> (actually, come to think of it, I
> actually have a CDROM somewhere that claims to have a thousand
> free fonts on it of that sort). Since the visual design of the font
> cannot be copyrighted, there are many knockoffs of just about
> every Adobe or URW font. Many/most are just alphanumeric with
> punctuation, and would be "good enough" for Web design.

The visual design of fonts - type designs - can be monopolised in the
USA by "design patents" for 14 years. The digital representation of
the designs, the fonts, are then monopolised by copyrights. Those
knockoffs may well be risky to publish because even if the type design
was never patented or the patent expired, the copyright on the font
file may not be authetic; SSI distributed thousands of CD-ROMs with
fonts which were found to be derived works from Adobe and Emigre

You ought to respect proprietary font developers' wishes that their
fonts not be redistributed and use (and perhaps even pay for the
development of) fonts which respect your rights to modify and

Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 21:28:07 UTC

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