Re: The unmentionable

Thomas Lord wrote:

> FWIW, John, on the analogy or non-analogy to music:


>> Music is a consumable. 

> False.  Normally, listening to a recording
> does not "consume" it.  I think you mean that
> people often play a music recording for incidental
> reasons rather than to manufacture a commercial
> good.  Of course, that is true of fonts as well.

I meant consumable in the sense of a consumer product, rather than a 
value added product.

>> The market 
>> for fonts is a professional design market. The market for music is 
>> pretty much everyone. 

> The demand for fonts is pretty much everyone as well.
> The paying demand for fonts may be as you describe.

This is why I used the term 'market'. A demand that does not include 
willingness to pay does not constitute a market.

>> Fonts have value to the customer in relative or 
>> absolute exclusivity 

> So does music, as any film maker or collector
> of Grateful Dead tapes can tell you.

A film maker is using music to add value to his film, but such use is a 
specialised market for music that differs from the general market of 
paying for and downloading MP3s from Amazon (the market originally 
mentioned by Dirk). This is the point I am making: the general market of 
fonts is more like this specialised market for music, in that the people 
who pay for fonts are professionals who want to use them to add value, 
while the people who buy MP3s on Amazon are people who want to listen to 

As for collectors of Grateful Dead cassettes, rarity and exclusivity are 
not the same thing.

>> (the fact that we put a price on exclusivity and 
>> clients pay this price is sufficient evidence of this). 

> So it is in music, as well.

Not among people who buy MP3s off Amazon. You don't pay more for an MP3 
in order to have exclusive listening rights to it for a one, three or 
five year period, but this is exactly what happens in custom font licensing.

Dirk was talking about retail digital music downloads by consumers, not 
about specialised markets for new composition, use of music in film or 
television, radioplay, etc. Stop confusing the matter with totally 
irrelevant things.

I've been in the font business for long enough to know how it works, 
know where the value is found in the products, know who the paying 
customers are, know what happens to fonts in a digital environment, and 
know what analogies are appropriate and which are not. I can do without 
people who are not in this business trying to tell me how they imagine 
it to be. I don't have any idea what the business model for developing a 
web browser is, and I'm not going to presume to tell the browser makers 
on this list what their business is. I'd appreciate the same basic respect.


Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 22:05:20 UTC