W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-font@w3.org > July to September 1996

RE: the alternative?

From: Bill Hill <billhill@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 12:13:26 -0700
Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=msft%l=RED-90-MSG-960822191326Z-10976@tide21.microsoft.com>
To: "'www-font@w3.org'" <www-font@w3.org>, "Simon Daniels (Tech/Aid International Inc)" <i-simond@microsoft.com>
The following views ARE those of my employer....

A statement of philosophy first.

At Microsoft, we care a lot about the intellectual property rights of font 
designers. Protecting them has always been high on our list of priorities. 
Before we introduced font embedding in Microsoft Word, we held an 
industry-wide review (in 1992) to develop a system which was acceptable to 
all the major font vendors.

We believe a thriving font industry is essential to ensure that type - the 
primary communications tool for the human race - continues to develop and 
maintain its relevance in the digital age. If type designers can't make a 
living, there will be no new type unless companies like Microsoft pay to 
have it made. Smaller "garage" font shops, and even some larger font 
businesses, could not exist if we were their only customers. No-one in 
their right mind would leave university or college and go into type design. 
And type - remarkable for its diversity and the creativity of the people 
who make it - would lose much of its variety and vigor as a result.

The level of font piracy which takes place in the world today is a 
disgrace. How anyone can make a living as a small independent vendor is 
beyond me. If anything, it's even worse than the level of software piracy.

Font embedding on the Internet is another major challenge for the industry, 
and Microsoft has been spending a lot of time and energy thinking about it. 
But any challenge also presents an opportunity.

We'll be making a series of announcements on type at Seybold next month, 
including the embedding/security/piracy issue. For those who won't be 
there, the details will be posted within a few days of Seybold on our 

http://www.microsoft.com/truetype/, which will also be accessible by then 
as http://www.microsoft.com/opentype/

While you're there, check out the amazing Web pages in our CSS Gallery, put 
together using CSS1 style sheets. To view them, you'll need Microsoft 
Internet Explorer 3.0 (the only browser currently supporting CSS). You'll 
also want our free Webfonts - especially the Verdana which Matthew Carter 
drew for us, hinted by Tom Rickner.

These pages are (unbelievably) made up almost entirely of text. They are 
really small, and download incredibly quickly as a result. But, with the 
"on the fly" anti-aliasing (aka font smoothing) in Windows 95 Plus! Pack, 
they look just great. This is the shape of the future.

bill hill,
microsoft typography

From:  Simon Daniels (Tech/Aid International Inc)
Sent:  Thursday, August 22, 1996 10:00 AM
To:  'www-font@w3.org'
Subject:  the alternative?

I understand the worries voiced by a number of type designers on this
list concerning the perceived risks of font embedding on the Web. But
I'm wondering what will happen if a working, secure embedding solution
isn't made available soon.

Netscape has for the past month included support for the FONT FACE tag,
that allows designers to specify which fonts should be used to render
passages of text. Already sites ( http://www.audities.com ) are
beginning to provide complete fonts for their readers to download and
manually install. I'm getting asked by designers where they can get
their hands on plugins or ActiveX controls that will simplify the
process of font download and installation. Such an application would be
easy to produce and I'm sure there are people working on programs to do
this right now. I'd guess it's only a matter of weeks before we see...

***This site looks best in StolenFont - click here to automatically
download and install this font.***

I'm not saying that the availability of an embedding solution from MS,
Adobe or whoever is definitely going to stop this from happening, but it
might help. Comments, thoughts anyone?

Si Daniels


These are my own thoughts and not those of my employer or Microsoft,
Received on Thursday, 22 August 1996 15:30:43 UTC

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