TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Mon Mar 19 17:20:52 EDT 2018






Frolicking in the gutter

The web is full of junk---web readers have come to expect it, and are too tired to denounce bad practice or bad habits. But sorting out the junk in the web's gutters is educational, once in a while. When visiting Acidfonts earlier today, a "typical" free font archive by today's standards, several things bothered me. Like many "free" sites, there is a premium service that allows you to download fonts more comfortably----this is a fee for downloading fonts that one can find in many places and that are made by individuals who have nothing to do with the site. There is even a membership. If you can sell snow on EBay, then why not? Well, there is a more obscure source of income---the site attracts a decent amount of traffic, and so there are many clickable ads leading via click-counting sites to Monotype, Fonts.com (also Monotype) and ITC (also Monotype). It sure looks like either this is a Monotype front (I doubt it, but never say never), or it indirectly accepts money from Monotype via a pay-per-click service (and Monotype does not object to it since this has been going on for some time). In fact, in its list of fonts, we find nothing but links to Fonts.com. On the one hand, Linotype (part of Monotype) has been complaining about clones of its fonts for years and has shown a distaste for free font designers and free font sites, so why would it support the parasitic business practices of Acidfonts? If it's a front for Monotype, Acidfonts should say so on page one. If the income is mainly from clicks on Fonts.com links, Acidfonts should say so on page one. Monotype is like a bad tourist trap restaurant that needs to send out shady characters into the street, menus in hand, to lure them in.

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David and Goliath ⦿ Type parasites ⦿

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