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RE: Re[2]: pixel fonts

From: Tiro TypeWorks <tiro@portal.ca>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 16:38:46 -0700
Message-Id: <199608122332.QAA14720@kefron.portal.ca>
To: Bill McCoy <mccoy@mv.us.adobe.com>, www-font@w3.org
I wrote, via e-mail to Bill McCoy (who had outlined the ways in which one
could search for stolen fonts on the Web) :

>>This will work fine for custom corporate typefaces, where there is only one
>>legitimate user of the font and all others are clearly in infringement. With
>>commercially available fonts will this be so easy? There are any number of
>>more or less legitimate ways in which someone can end up with a font on
>>their system, very few of which can be effectively monitored, and the costs
>>of such monitoring are pretty prohibitive in terms of time following up
>>leads, checking with assorted vendors, even assuming that the vendors
>>supplied a regsitration card and the user bothered to fill it in and
return it.

To which Bill responded that he didn't see how this was any different from
clip-art images, and failed to understand the substantive difference between
the cases (despite Clive's eloquent explications).

The difference between fonts and clip-art is that (presuming a font actually
contains letterforms and not just dingbats) fonts are a collection of images
of commonly recognised forms (letters) which may be combined to produce
other commonly recognised forms (words) which can be combined to communicate
ideas, concepts, etc.. Clip-art is a form of low-end filler for people who
can't afford to hire professional illustrators or photographers. I suppose
there are some people who design type for a clip-art market and are happy to
view their work in this way. I design type for a graphic design, typography
and publishing market. It is actually not in my interests, nor in the
interests of my intended customers, to have every Tom, Dick and Harriet
flinging my fonts all over the world via the Internet. 

Besides which, saying 'The way people steal fonts is just like the way they
steal clip-art' is hardly addressing the main point, which is that people
will steal anything if you make it easy for them, and an insecure webfont
format makes it bloody easy to steal fonts.

By the way, Bill, I hope you don't mind if I take this discussion back to
the group now. I think you and I have a slightly better grasp of where each
other is coming from, and I'll try not to be so bolshy :-)

Yours, John

Tiro TypeWorks
Vancouver, BC
Received on Monday, 12 August 1996 19:33:24 UTC

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