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LUC DEVROYE


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Bill Troop on selling type

About restrictions placed by foundries on their fonts and what you can and cannot do with them, including interpolations and so on: "Isn't this perverse? Nobody's selling any fonts. So now designers are spending all their time trying to figure out how to get people not to use the fonts they aren't selling anyway. Perhaps it would be better to look at why some fonts make money for their designers and don't get pirated. Let me take as an instance Carter's Caledonia for Time Magazine. This font has never been pirated, except for some almost worthless pdf extractions. The same is true for most of Carter's other magazine fonts. Nobody has copies, other than the magazines, the designer, and a very few copies Carter has let some trusted associates see. How is it that nobody at the magazines has pirated these most interesting fonts? I imagine (though I don't know for sure, and I think I will check into this further) that the contract terms impose a stiff penalty for any release of the font. Carter can, I presume, impose these terms, because his work is considered valuable enough to make these terms seem viable and sensible. The work is considered worth paying quite a lot for, and worth spending a considerable amount of time and technology to protect. And all of this occurs without the fonts being anything other than normal Mac Postscript fonts. The rest of us, sitting at home in splendid isolation, should be focussing on learning how to make work of that quality, if we want any material reward for our labors. Otherwise we should treat what we are doing as a challenging and delightful hobby."

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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html