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Re: Proposal: Font Use Modelling

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 19:02:49 +0200 (DST)
Message-Id: <9608121902.ZM20107@grommit.inria.fr>
To: tiro@portal.ca (Tiro TypeWorks)
Cc: www-font@w3.org
On Aug 9,  3:23pm, Tiro TypeWorks wrote:

> There is a tendency, of which we are all guilty, to look at type from the
> perspective of our own corner of the industry (or related industries), and
> not to fully consider what people in other areas might require of font
> technology.

Bingo. Well put.

> I propose (and I'll let everyone else decide who is best placed to implement
> such a proposal) that time should be taken to build a series of models of
> current font usage, detailing how fonts are purchased and used by different
> market groups, how fonts are likely to be used by such groups in the future,

And by other groups. It is the community who do not currently use fonts now but
wish to in the future that is the growth area.

> and which smaller market groups are likely to grow in response to various
> current technological initiatives.

Why the restriction to "small" market groups? Just curious. Or was that an
ironic reference back to your "own corner" ;-)

> Of principal concern should be issues of
> ownership, licensing, and data protection. Obviously these issues are going
> to imply different things to different groups -- one thing to companies
> commissioning custom typefaces, for example, and another to developers of
> Web browsers.The point _is_ the difference, and we lack a model of these
> differences suitable to informing the present debate.

OK, sounds interesting. You volunteering to put forward a discussion document?

> I suspect, if such modelling were available, font technology developers
> would see the need to control, within the font data, the ways in which a
> font can be used.

Rather like certain Kanji fonts which are restricted to being imaged at low
resolution (below 600dpi) for example? Or a license for temporary installation
 for read only use with documents from a particular website?

> It is not that I am opposed in principle to outline fonts
> being used, in some fashion, on the Web and in electronic documents; rather,
> font designers, manufacturers and distributors should be able to determine
> which of their fonts can be used in such a fashion and which cannot.

There are likely to be several "fashions"; particular foundries might give
their assent in the license for some and not others. Machine-readable licenses
would be a help here.

> Simply
> rewriting licensing agreements and hoping for the best is not good enough,
> it is not even adequate. It is unacceptable, as a type designer, to be
> handed a new technology, told that it is going to be a world standard, and
> then told that your work is unprotectable as a result.

Well, the existing options of including an explicit bar in the license, and of
prosecuting offenders, remain open. But I appreciate your concerns.

> It is equally
> unacceptable for a company commissioning a custom typeface to be unable to
> use that typeface on their website without giving up the very exclusivity in
> which they invested so much money.

Sure. Nice point. Large corporates licensing particular faces on their
Websites to project the same image as their paper-based publications is
expected to be a growth area (and a market opportunity for typeface designers,
of course).

Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 93 65 79 87            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Monday, 12 August 1996 13:04:35 UTC

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