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Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2009 12:50:06 -0700
To: karsten luecke <mail@kltf.de>
Cc: www-font@w3.org
Message-Id: <1246909806.6388.58.camel@dell-desktop.example.com>

The proposal of "TTF/OTF only" would force 
restricted-license font vendors to either
permit use on the web of their fonts
in that format or not permit use of their
fonts on the web.

The proposal of "TTF/OTF plus ____", the
blank to be filled in later, would not force
such a choice upon those vendors.  

The rationalizations offered by the vendors 
for rejecting "TTF/OTF only" do not apply
to "TTF/OTF plus _____".  Nothing in 
"TTF/OTF plus ____" requires them to permit
web use of their fonts in TTF/OTF.

You seem to be suggesting a possible rationale
against "TTF/OTF plus ____".  I think you
are saying that people will then go ahead
and use TTF/OTF in cases where they are not
permitted to.  No doubt they will -- just as some
will make unauthorized conversions of 
restricted licenses to and from any other format
we construct.

Meanwhile, there are many (and more coming)
fonts in TTF/OTF that already interoperate
with all browsers but one and with all desktops.
What rationale justifies using the Recommendation
to harm the makers and users of those fonts
and the makers and users of existing desktop


On Mon, 2009-07-06 at 20:36 +0200, karsten luecke wrote:
> The rationale against (3) is actually the same as against (1). No need to make up any hidden agenda.
> Users -- including designers who should know better -- tend to think that they "own" software (including fonts) once they "purchased" it, and ignore that they got a license only for specific type of use.
> Fonts already licensed for print are TTFs/OTFs.
> These same fonts can be used on the web now.
> Users will not extend licensed since they have the files already and (mixing up buying physical entity with getting a license which is restricted in one way or another which has been demonstrated in this very discussion) won't extend the license for this different type of use.
> A separate web font format serves as a reminder of this different use case.
> A photographer with whom I spoke today brought up a nice analogy:
> Photographers can at least post a low-res image with watermark on the web which is unusable for anything else, and ask for a fee for the high-res printable image. Which serves as "physical" restriction to use.
> With fonts, you guess it, you only get the high-res printable version, so it's rather the opposite to the "opportunity" of new markets that you are musing of.
> Turning TTF/OTF into EOT involves tiny extra efforts which are enough of a physical barrier to make people wonder: But am I allowed to do it?
> After all, by far not as effective as low-res vs high-res.
> My summary of what Mozilla and Apple are doing:
> (a) Providing an infrastructure that only supports TTF/OTF fonts which
> (b) can be downloaded easily since links are exposed in CSS files and
> (c) which can be installed on the system, ready for use in any application.
> (d) Moreover emphasize this downloading aspect on Mozilla and (I think)
>      Apple sites by calling this new feature "downloadable fonts" which
>      is an outright encouragement to do so
> (e) and then dare ask type designers, "What now is your problem?", 
>      and encourage them to do some better job to inform about licensing
>      issues ...
> The interoperability argument is bullshit. That's politics of first making facts and then telling but we can't go back because removing support for TTF/OTF would break things. Your beer. Had browser developers at least been clever enough to follow option (2), it would have a lot been easier for them to silence the type guys.
> Karsten
Received on Monday, 6 July 2009 19:50:54 UTC

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