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I expect all foundries to start offering web font licenses within 6 months.

From: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:19:58 +0100
Message-ID: <2285a9d20907150719i1e930a1hbe99eab98b9a4a3f@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Cc: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Hi,

I expect all foundries to start offering web font licenses within 6 months.

Here's why:

    http://www.ascendercorp.com/pr/2009-07-15/

Ascender have just announced they will be licensing EOTs by the end of
the month.

I read on Ben Weiner's blog at
http://www.readingtype.org.uk/blog/2009/07/good-news-for-web-designers-acceptable.html
that other foundries will be licensing fonts for the web in both EOT
and in a corrupt TTF format.

(TTF corruption works like this: The NAME table is malformed, so that
they will fail desktop OS validation and refuse to be installed, but
work in browsers since browsers set their family names from CSS
declarations. This is quite similar to John Daggett's "renaming"
proposal. The contractual agreement between foundies and web
publishers also requires the publishers to implement referrer checking
and CORS, by the sounds of it. These 3 things - CORS, referrer checks,
and broken NAME tables - seem to be the 'speed bump' to unauthorised
file sharing that foundries called for.)

I have asked for clarification from Ascender about if they will
support such "broken TTFs" -
http://typophile.com/node/59489#comment-356418

I agree with Ben that the foundies are "effectively [pulling] an
end-run around the discussion because it means that the dual-format
(TTF/OTF and EOT) question now has an answer ... you can expect to be
able to license TTF/OTF and EOT versions of many high-quality
commercial fonts very, very soon ... commercial font publishers will
fall over themselves to avoid being the last ones to make their
libraries available."

To me, this totally undermines the initial rationale for forming a
Fonts WG, which was that foundries were not willing to license for the
web without a new web font format. Now that they are proven to be
willing, will the Font WG proposal be abandoned?

I would think that would be a shame; Tal Leming's proposal seemed
promising. Personally, I preferred Tom Lord's because I buy his
reasoning about making a generic solution for all media types, but it
seems stuck at Rob O'C's critique. Will Tom Lord reply to Rob?

Also, I note that the foundries' TTF scheme assumes that browsers will
not apply the same validation checks as OSes do - perhaps some browser
developers can comment on if that assumption is valid?

-- 
Regards,
Dave
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 14:20:59 GMT

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