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RE: Public Domain Fonts for the Web

From: Tom Rickner <tom.rickner@monotype.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 15:56:15 -0600
Message-ID: <01BD413F.15C7C280.tom.rickner@monotype.com>
To: "W3 Mailing List (E-mail)" <www-font@w3.org>

Michael Emmel wrote:

>I  have ranted  once on this issue but the important thing is not so much
>free fonts as a good set of standard fonts that are universally available.
>The natural conclusion is that they mush be free.  If there is another way 
>to answer this that
>is acceptable to the font industry it would be nice.
>
>Plus from what I can tell there is no motivation in  the font industry to
>allow such standardization.

As a representative of Monotype, I can say that we would have no problem 
making Times New Roman, Arial and Courier New a font standard on every 
platform. The problem you seem to have with this is that we would like to 
be paid for the fonts we make.

>And one last comment on "free" software and the font industry crying 
>about hard  it is to make good fonts.
	>  <snip>

>I hope that everyone in the font industry that cries about the hard work
>put into font design uses no free
>software.  This would include X windows.

When it comes to font tools which we don't make ourselves, we pay good 
money for the majority of them. The few tools which are free were developed 
by Apple and Microsoft, in order to promote the OPEN font format of 
TrueType, which they desired to become a standard. They didn't give away 
tools to be charitable. They them away to get something in return... a wide 
selection of fonts in a format which would allow them to extend their 
system software and applications capabilities, increasing market share, and 
in the long run, make more money.

We are being asked to give away our fonts so we can... give away our only 
product? As a capitalist, I have a hard time understanding out how I make 
out in the long run on this one.

>The  reluctance  of the font industry to contribute  because of the work
>involved in font creation  is nonsense. With this attitude there would be 
>no gcc linux emacs X11 or  Unix as we know it today.

Hmmm. Having never come in contact with these technologies, I have a hard 
time feeling your pain. ;-)

>Having said this the font industries vigorous attempts to keep font
>technology  closed smacks of simple attempts to maintain the current 
>status quo.

You've got it totally wrong on this one. The font foundries were the ones 
who vigorously fought to make things open and standardized. Several of the 
(so-called) larger font foundries (as if there were any today!) gave their 
input under NDA to Apple when they were developing TrueType, in the hopes 
that a single open standard would prevail over the then closed format of 
Postscript Type 1. It was only after Apple announced TrueType and Bitstream 
cracked Type 1 encryption that PS was reluctantly opened up as a standard. 
It is the font foundries who have been pleading with Apple and Microsoft to 
converge their now divergent flavors of TrueType. It is the font foundries 
who would benefit most from the adoption of OpenType as the one and only 
universal format. I don't think you could find a font developer who doesn't 
want a single unified standard. I for one would welcome the day.

Thomas Rickner
Monotype Typography
Received on Tuesday, 24 February 1998 17:12:09 UTC

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