12 Dec 1999: True Type Fonts
Last updated at 12:16 pm UTC on 16 January 2006
Subject: Re: RE: True Type Fonts.
Resent-Date: 12 Dec 1999 13:40:53 -0000
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Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 05:42:06 -0800
From: Alan Kay
References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
Disney was not part of the Squeak deal. Before we left Apple, we convinced
them (Apple) to make Squeak Open Source, found one of their lawyers who was
friendly, and spent some time working on the license wording. Once at
Disney, we downloaded Squeak from the net like everyone else, and we keep
to the stipulations of the license agreement. This keeps things simple and
uncluttered. We did have to spend some time explaining to Disney why it
made sense for them to let us do things this way, but now they see.
At 10:49 PM -0800 12/11/99, Duane Maxwell wrote:
>Unfortunately, Bob Arning has an employer (EntryPoint) and did this code
>under our auspices and our dime. We're not quite ready to devote the time
>and money to unilaterally test the validity of this patent as it applies to
>FreeType, even as much as people believe it to be challengeable. We're a
>software company, not a deep pocket of legal expenses. If someone can
>provide us with a bulletproof disclaimer we can distribute with it that
>protects both ourselves and Bob, we'd love to release the code. We have
>been unable to develop language that adequately eliminates the "inducement
>to infringe" issue without resorting to transparent absurdity.
>If our business evolves as we'd like it to, we _won't_ be invisible to
>Apple. "Fake justice" happens all too often for us to take the risk of
>legal exposure, however slight.
>Since Disney has apparently successfully transferred some intellectual
>property between themselves, I think it is best qualified to clear this up.
>It also has better IP lawyers than either we or Apple ever will.
>>At 4:39 PM -0800 12/11/99, Andrew C. Greenberg wrote:
>>>If the patents are directed solely to the creation of hinted fonts,
>>>as Alan suggests may be the case, a rendering engine (as opposed to a
>>>hinted font editor program) would not be infringing. Some support
>>>for this proposition can be found in the specification of the
>>>patents. If it can be extended to a rendering engine, it strikes me
>>>as dangerous to ignore it.
>>>Is there any way simply to ask Apple, thereby finessing the need to
>>>consider the question further? Consent is always the best defense.
>>The problem is that Apple's lawyers almost certainly do not understand the
>>patent content, and when lawyers don't understand the content, what do they
>>usually say? (heh heh)
>> Again, having been an expert witness in many copyright and patent
>>suits, almost none of which have ever gone to "true justice" (largely
>>because judges and juries don't really understand the content, and –for
>>that reason – corporate lawyers are too willing to settle out of court), I
>>have come to regard the current situation as a context-free game called
>>"bully", and the so-called "legalities" are best avoided.
>> However, I do think consent is a good idea, but it has to be gotten
>>without raising hackles ... I will investigate – but, again, I don't think
>>that there is anything to worry about here in the sense of actual justice.
>>As far as "fake justice": in America, anyone with enough money can cause
>>unlimited legal mischief about almost any technical issue – for this case,
>>it's better to be invisible.