Type on the Web

Excerpted from the article originally published in Communication Arts November 1997.

Given the limits that html, the language used to compose Web pages, imposes on Web typesetting, the idea of “type on the Web” might be considered an oxymoron. Despite this, the Web offers a wealth of information and resources on digital type and has created new opportunities for companies to market type products, which complements the conventional ways type has been promoted in the past. On the plus side the Internet has made it very convenient to download information or software (i.e., pdf files, upgrades, shareware, etc.). On the downside the Internet can easily facilitate illegal distribution of licensed software—it’s just as easy to copy a public domain, shareware typeface or software program as it is to copy pirated versions of licensed products posted onto public servers. Perhaps a bigger problem is that the desire for inexpensive type has created a market for digital type produced by third-party vendors, some of whom appropriate existing outlines then rename, repackage and resell the original type at bargain rates. One of the best sites on the legal aspects of type and other related issues is TypeRight (www.typeright.org), an organization comprised of type designers, developers, foundries and aficionados whose purpose is “to promote typefaces as creative works and to advocate their legal protection as intellectual property.” The TypeRight site has the most current information on legal issues of type including feature articles, FAQs, an overview of type laws, a petition to the U.S. Copyright Office to revise existing laws giving typeface design more protection and links to other related sites. Most established foundries have online versions of their catalogs and offer a variety of ways to order their products: either via e-mail (this is risky without some sort of secured means to transmit a credit card number), by phone during business hours or online through a secured server. [Ler mais...]

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