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

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 09:50:28 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0907150750q5ee26b86qaff4c6c1ed3cf41c@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com>
Cc: www-font <www-font@w3.org>, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 9:19 AM, Dave Crossland<dave@lab6.com> wrote:
> 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.

Awesome news!  Once I came around, the EOT Lite proposal seemed like
the realistically best solution for us authors.

The important question now is, will the non-IE browsers implement
this?  Moz, Opera, Webkit folks?

As well, will IE implement TTF linking now?  IE folks?

Finally, will everybody use same-origin restrictions on fonts?  We
need to standardize on this, and I think SO is a good idea.

> 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 have no problem with buying malformed TTFs from foundries.

> 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?

I never thought that license expression in fonts was a solution to any
actual problem we faced, so I won't shed a tear that Ascender (and
hopefully other foundries now) decided to jump the gun and ignore
that.

> 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?

I'm not a browser developer, but I don't see any good reason to do
that sort of validation on webfonts, for the reason listed by Ben.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 14:51:24 GMT

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