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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:50:02 -0700
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Cc: www-font@w3.org
Message-Id: <1247680202.7426.59.camel@dell-desktop.example.com>

> The objection of many font makers and owners is precisely that these 
> fonts should not be exposed in this way through these 'existing 
> implementations', that these implementations are both ethically and 
> technically wrong.



The problem, John, is that TTF/OTF exist as
standards precisely to facilitate the exchange
of font files between applications.  These
are "open standards", intended to be implemented
by anyone and everyone who cares to do so.

You are asking W3C to regard them as restricted
standards that come with a "field of use" 
limitation:  "Browser Standards May Not Use These
Formats".   That horse has left the barn, though.

Regardless of what format browsers support, an
unauthorized use of a font remains just that: an
unauthorized use.

If you could make the case that standardizing 
TTF/OTF for web UAs would have as its primary
effect, by far, nothing but the unauthorized use
of fonts then I think you would have a kind of 
"attractive nuisance" or "blight" argument against
such a standard.   That seems to be what you are
reaching towards.  I don't think you have or
can come close to making that case, though.

One is tempted to tease you a little bit by
asking if you are aware that modern browsers
have been turned into music-sharing devices and
that that has resulted in the unauthorized use
of music files - including the collection of
music files to create unauthorized derived works
for profit.

I'm not teasing, though, when I point out that many
people - not least those behind ccREL and RDFa have
been trying to introduce technologies that respond
to the technological landscape realistically and
that try to mediate the problems by facilitating and
normalizing the orderly conveyance and presentation of
legal metadata for media files.  The wrapper proposal
is in that same spirit.

-t



On Wed, 2009-07-15 at 08:39 -0700, John Hudson wrote:
> Christopher Fynn wrote:
> 
> > In OTF don't we more or less already have a single, extensible, flexible 
> > font format? We can add fine grained permission bits, additional 
> > licensing information and custom tables, etc., etc. to that format while 
> > remaining compatible with existing implementations.
> 
> Yes, we can extend the fontdata format with permissions, tailored 
> licensing, custom tables etc., but in the meantime these 'existing 
> implementations' are exposing all existing TTF and OTF font files to 
> free filesharing, and most of those fonts do not contain any specific 
> licensing information for web use or, even, embedding bit settings that 
> are recognised as meaningful for naked TTF/OTF linking.
> 
> The objection of many font makers and owners is precisely that these 
> fonts should not be exposed in this way through these 'existing 
> implementations', that these implementations are both ethically and 
> technically wrong.
> 
> The sad thing is that we might end up with EOT or some derivative as a 
> standard format simply because we're being pushed to a quick solution 
> instead of the right solution.
> 
> John Hudson
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 17:50:47 GMT

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