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Re: A way forward

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:22:32 -0700
Message-ID: <4A6A5048.9050300@tiro.com>
CC: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Dave Crossland wrote:

> The point is to get to profiting from web fonts ASAP.

No, that is not the point. If it were the point, we'd all have been 
licensing fonts for EOT for the past ten years, regardless of the 
non-interoperability, because obviously there would have been at least 
some profit to be made in that market. What font makers and their 
clients want is a way to use fonts on the web that is interoperable and 
does not expose fonts to casual misuse on either the web or the desktop. 
They have stated this numerous times in clear and unambiguous terms.

Professional fonts are tools and the market for them -- i.e. the people 
who actually pay for licenses or commission custom fonts -- is almost 
entirely a professional market of designers and publishers. These are 
the people who pay for fonts, and I don't see any reason to think that 
there is some kind of immense secondary market for professional fonts on 
the web from which font makers will 'wildly profit'. The people who will 
pay to use fonts on the web are the same people who pay to use fonts in 
print. The only way anyone is going to profit significantly from web 
font licensing is by charging the same people extra money to use fonts 
on the web. Some foundries might do this. Some might be nice to their 
customers and include web licensing in the basic price. In either case, 
what will determine the foundries' readiness to license for the web is 
the relative security of the format, not a chimeric profit opportunity. 
Foundries have both stated this and demonstrated it for over a decade 
now. Whenever a new format or service comes along -- be it sIFR, Cufon, 
Typekit, Kernest, EOT Lite, .webfont, ZOT, etc. -- the first question 
that the foundries ask is what kind of protection it offers to their 
fonts and how exposed their fonts will be, not what kind of money they 
might make off it.

> Um, really? someone@microsoft.com saying 'TTF prepared for the web' is
> a fine web font format seems surprising. Okay!

Sylvain did *not* say this was a 'fine web font'. Sylvain said it was 
fine by him for this to be included in 'summaries of the various proposals'.

Meanwhile, I think one might as well include potato printing in the 
summary of web font proposals.

Received on Saturday, 25 July 2009 00:23:15 UTC

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