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Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

From: Christopher Slye <cslye@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 19:04:56 -0700
Message-ID: <ADCEC151-2EB9-403A-B37D-1F4FFF8F4B5E@adobe.com>
To: www-font@w3.org

On Jul 6, 2009, at 3:39 PM, Thomas Phinney wrote:

> ... even EOT, especially once the
> former encryption is a public spec, represents considerable compromise
> relative to what most font vendors would really like. Yes, they WOULD
> like iTunes-like DRM. They're not angling for it because they don't
> think it's feasible insofar as browser vendors aren't going to go
> there. But font vendors who back (or backed) the public version of EOT
> mostly feel like they've already made a huge compromise. So taking
> that as if it's an utterly unreasonable request and trying to get font
> vendors halfway from there to desktop fonts on web servers... well,
> the surprising thing is not that many of them are resistant to further
> compromise, but that as many of them are open to it as they are. It
> may be due to a feeling of helplessness, and the sense that the W3C
> will do what it does, and they'll just have to decide afterwards
> whether to license their fonts under those terms.

Well said.

It has been asked repeatedly here whether font foundries would support  
having both raw font linking and protected font linking (e.g. EOT) in  
browsers. For Adobe, yes, we would support that. We would be even more  
supportive of ONLY protected font linking, but I recognize that the  
genie is out of the bottle. It's nice that Microsoft has held off, and  
it would have been nice if @font-face hadn't since appeared everywhere  
else, but I don't know if it's worth arguing about any more.

We would like to see a protected font format (a wrapper, if you will)  
or other font protection mechanism, and I prefer to focus my effort on  
getting that. Other foundries might feel differently, and if they do  
I'd be interested to know about it.

(By the way, I have read the objections to employing the term  
"protection". I still prefer to use it, in the same way I might say  
taking vitamin C protects against a cold, or wearing a seat belt  
protects against death by car crash. If the word bothers you, please  
imagine something else.)

I'd like to attempt to shake off some of the clutter around this  
discussion. Our motivations are really fairly straightforward: Our  
customers would like to use our fonts on the web. We would like to  
allow it, but we would like to do it in a way that doesn't involve  
putting our products (which are really fairly elaborate, sophisticated  
pseudo-applications these days) naked on a server. We don't see it as  
a way to squeeze our customers for more money or put the competition  
out of business. All we want to do right now is find a palatable way  
to let our customers use our fonts on the web. No kidding.

-Christopher
Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 02:05:37 GMT

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