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Re: Font license vs. conversion between font formats

From: Erik van Blokland <erik@letterror.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 14:36:25 +0200
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Message-Id: <66662A78-1614-4FE7-8CE0-39664ABD5968@letterror.com>
To: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>

On 9 jul 2009, at 13:42, Mikko Rantalainen wrote:

> However, I'm trying to say that you can put simple roadblocks but  
> unless
> you've real security, you should not be surprised to find that those
> roadblocks have been circumvented in no time. After that those
> roadblocks are obstacles only for honest authors, users and browser
> vendors. They do not prevent even casual copying (because copying  
> tools
> will be advanced enough).

Ah, nihilism. I think you'll find most honest authors actually  
interested in licensing and willing to take the required steps to do  
the right thing. Given that any font ever released is one torrent  
search away, foundries still sell fonts. To who? honest authors. These  
are not people who too stoopid to find the torrent, they actually  
*want* to buy our fonts and support our work.

Now then, as you concur the technical part of this webfont proposal is  
so easy it can be implemented as fast as it can be circumvented, I  
really don't see why you're having a hissy fit about it. The domains  
part is optional (read the proposal). Wrapping a font should be  
trivial for you.

The bottom line is. the folks who prefer to find the torrent, lift the  
font from the wrapper, or rewrite the domains are not honest authors.

A raw ttf / otf, sent unasked for to the honest reader, ends up ready- 
for-action on the reader's desktop. If the font is not accompanied by  
any declaration of its origin and under which conditions it was  
licensed to the honest author, what conclusion is the honest reader to  
reach? The reader didn't agree on any license. The author didn't list  
any conditions or stipulations. If the reader uses the font, it is not  
a dishonest step, there is no promise broken, no intent ignored.

Taking a font out of a wrapper requires a step. However trivial, it is  
a step. An unlocked door that says "keep out". Honest folks will not  
enter, because the sign states intent, it requires effort to consider  
the potential risks and get in anyway.
Given the sheer number of people who will get these fonts (how many  
page hits a day, global, all people, all sites, day in day out?), and  
the stupendous number of honest readers, such a barrier will have a  
lot of effect.

If my trust in mankind is so far off center that this scheme would not  
work, there is hardly any reason to discuss licensing raw fonts either.

Erik
Received on Thursday, 9 July 2009 12:37:07 GMT

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