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

From: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 08:06:26 -0700
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0907150806p7458b353t7d1b31ceeec1c343@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 7:19 AM, Dave Crossland<dave@lab6.com> wrote:
> I expect all foundries to start offering web font licenses within 6 months.

Urm, over-react much?

> 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.

Not EOT, but EOT Lite.

> 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.

Ben writes that "at least one significant player is now issuing TTF
fonts with web server licences"... without even naming that player.

Until it's public who it is, and what they are charging, I can't
comment on the significance.

Ben's own conclusion included "I think commercial font publishers will
fall over themselves to avoid being the *last* ones to make their
libraries available." (emphasis added by me, not in Ben's original)

So he did not draw the same conclusion you did.

Moreover, Ben's analysis was short in providing the links between
events and his conclusions.

> (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.)

This was just thrown into Ben's post. He didn't make it clear whether
this is what that one particular foundry was doing, or something he
was proposing, or what. In any case, for anybody to assume this
represents any kind of consensus or common approach font vendors are
converging on would be pretty silly.

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

All they announced was support for EOT Lite. Which they proposed in
the first place.

> 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."

There's no there there. Not yet, anyway. Sure, it *could* turn out to
be the beginning of the tide turning, but there's no evidence yet.

> 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?

"They" have not been proved willing. Somebody has posted, with no
reference or evidence, that a *single* unspecified foundry is willing
to do naked TTF/OTF under unspecified conditions and with an
unspecified fee. You might want to wait and see what the details are.

> 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?

Again, there you go implying multiple foundry involvement. Sheesh.

T
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 15:07:02 GMT

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