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Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2009 10:46:36 -0700
Message-ID: <4A50E6FC.3080109@tiro.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: HÃ¥kon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, Tal Leming <tal@typesupply.com>, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> Well, no, they don't *need* to be, especially if such a thing would
> require excessive effort on the part of authors.  I understand that
> font vendors don't want to spend the (significant) effort to track
> down copyright infringers, but that doesn't mean that others should be
> forced to do the work instead.  

I think you misunderstand me. I only expect authors (by which I take it 
you mean web publishers) to police their own use of fonts, i.e. to abide 
by the license terms. I don't expect them to police use of fonts by 
others except in the case, as with my clients, that they are also the 
owners of those fonts. What I'm saying is that if font vendors are going 
to police use of their fonts, then that policing has to be practical. 
Hence...

> [Single-origin linking] is a nice benefit for us authors, as fonts can
> potentially be widely reused on a variety of sites (unlike image
> hotlinking, which is relatively benign - many images that are used in
> the construction of a site are of little use outside of that site),
> and we'd like to be able to prevent hotlinking as easily as possible.
> It's neutral for font vendors.

No, not neutral. If licensing policing is going to be the method by 
which font vendors defend against illegitimate use of their fonts, then 
it helps immensely to prevent hotlinking. Font vendors want to be able 
to identify who is using their fonts and whether those uses are 
legitimate. Single-origin linking seems to me a very necessary benefit 
for commercial font vendors and owners.

Let me put it another way: if you want a format to which font vendors or 
custom font publishers will sign up, single-origin linking probably has 
to be a feature.

I look at the web font proposals in terms of 'Would I recommend this to 
my clients, who are both font owners and web publishers?' Single-origin 
linking is the best carrot I've seen so far.

John Hudson
Received on Sunday, 5 July 2009 20:43:13 GMT

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