TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat Apr 21 12:50:08 EDT 2018

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LUC DEVROYE


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Font bundling

Font bundling is the practice of packaging many fonts with certain software products. On a 2005 Typophile discussion, Nick Shinn puts it succinctly: I think piracy is a bit of a red herring, as an intellectual property concern for "the type industry. For most foundries, font bundling by the oligarchs --- Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple --- is the questionable practice which is most detrimental to their business. For two reasons. First, as Capthaddock observes: "they just accumulate the fonts that have gotten bundled with software over the years, sharing them with customers, printers, and other design firms as needed." This practice has become established for all fonts, not just "free" bundled fonts. Meta as shareware. Secondly, of course, by providing most of the fonts most people need, bundling marginalizes the retail font market. "The type industry" is not, as one contributor at FontLeech seems to think, monolithic. Although we do all get together and sing from the same book for typefests such as TypeCon and ATypI, the interests of the independent foundries are not the same as those of the software oligarchs, who call the tune.

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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