Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal

On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Gustavo Ferreira <> wrote:

> going back to my original point before i hide into my cave again (i am an
> independent type-designer):
> - it is not true, like tab atkins jr affirmed, that "it's been proven that
> high-quality type can and will be produced in a free-as-in-liberty fashion."
> in fact, i believe he has proven the opposite by not being able to cite any
> examples or defining quality in fonts and typefaces (2).

Uh, I think not.  Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack, and all that.
The fact is that I am *not* a font professional in any way.  I don't have
the level of knowledge required to really pick out the sort of font that you
guys might accept as "professional".

> - if the web has to rely on 'free-as-in-liberty' fonts, web-typography will
> continue to suck. high-quality typefaces are made by skilled professionals,
> not by amateurs; if there is no business-model for web-fonts, type-designers
> and digital type foundries will forbid web-usage alltogether, as most do
> now.

To be fair, the exact same thing has been said (and still is being said)
about every industry facing the clash of copyright and the web.  The fact is
that amateurs *can* create high-quality content, and professionals *are*
willing to produce their content 'for free'.  Not everyone (or even most) of
either group will do this, of course, but experience in other media shows us
that content does *not* suck when there is an emphasis on
free-as-in-liberty.  Business models adapt, and quality is maintained.  It
*is* true that the total amount of quality content can decrease, but that's
sometimes a necessary sacrifice to move an industry to a new stable point in
equilibrium with technology.

- i thought this whole discussion started because we all
> (software-developers, web-designers, content-producers, type-designers) want
> to improve typography on the web and have more fonts available.

It did.  Even a solution which focuses solely on free fonts would accomplish
this, however, as our current choices are *severely* limited.

> - come up with a mechanism to check license permissions in fonts and help
> us to protect against piracy, and we will all see a golden age for
> web-typography! our job is to design high-quality fonts, and given the
> production in recent years, i think we are doing it very well(3).

Given that we have bits in the font-file that already tell us the license
permissions, that part is done.  If we *just* wanted to protect against
piracy, it's simple enough for the browsers to just refuse any linked font
with those bits set.

It's coming up with an acceptable mechanism that allows one to *use* the
fonts with those bits set that is the difficult problem, and I have no issue
with working through this as we are.  Devil's in the details, you know.  ^_^


Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 22:24:43 UTC