Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fuck the Foundries

I'm guessing a lot of people have seen this already, but I just love this rant and can read it over and over again: Fuck the Foundries. Indeed.


William Jon said...

Hey dude,

Just curious, what are your top 5 open fonts?
a. for screen UI
b. for documents
c. for print


Jeroen Hoek said...

Chris Cunningham may not be very subtle, but he does have a point. Personally, I'm not too worried; we're not doing that bad on the free software side. My personal favourites include DejaVu Sans for on-screen, DejaVu Sans Mono for the terminal, and who can resist properly typeset* Gentium on print?

* LaTeX

Kristian Høgsberg said...

@William Jon: I don't have specific favourites, but there are some nice fonts on display over here:

The bigger point about web fonts is that with @font-face out in the wild, there's going to be a lot more focus on fonts, and there's a lot of business there for foundries that are willing to work with it. So I'm not too worried either.

tml said...

I don't see why typeface companies shouldn't be allowed to use whatever business model they please. (If the business model doesn't work, they will eventually notice.)

It's not like there would be some deity-given right for people to use the work of other people in ways the creators don't approve of (until some suitable time has expired after the creation of the work or after the death of the creator).

If some font isn't licensed in a way suitable to you, don't use it then. It's that simple.

If we as free software authors expect others to respect our copyright and licensing terms, we should do the same to creators of other works.

Kristian Høgsberg said...

@tml: the rant is not about whether or not we should respect copyrights. The foundries are free to license their fonts under whatever terms they see fit. However, the font format used for font linking/embedding is orthogonal to the license discussion. We can already link to copyrighted material from a web page using the img tag and now with HTML5, also audio and video. It's not a new problem.

The font designer interviewed in the blog says, "we're not going to license our fonts for use with @font-face". What Mark concludes is "fine, we won't use them", not "alright, we'll just pirate them then". People who buy fonts today and respect their licenses are not suddenly going to pirate fonts just because they can download them from some website. They can probably already download them from some website. The foundries who wont license their fonts for web use will lose out on this new market (and fuck them), while those foundries who are willing to embrace this new opportunity have a new big market waiting for them.