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Re: Questions re web-fonts

From: Christopher Fynn <cfynn@gmx.net>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 03:00:39 +0600
Message-ID: <4A5E4377.6020203@gmx.net>
To: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
CC: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>

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.

Any commercial font licence written in the last ten years should say 
something about web use because the @font-face recommendation have been 
public that long. Of course since fonts have a long shelf life, and in 
most instances pre-OT TTF fonts work fine on the web, there are 
perfectly usable fonts that understandably were sold or distributed 
under licences that don't take account of web use.

> 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.

I personally feel implementations are neutral - anyway I'm not sure 
whether telling browser developers and vendors that they are ethically 
and technically wrong is likely to win them over to your cause.

IMO it is copyright law, licenses and their enforcement through old 
fashioned legal means that are the best means of protecting fonts and 
other IP.

> 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.

And no one saw this coming? It is not as if there hasn't been ample time 
to come up with a consensus alternative for EOT and/or raw font linking.

If a better standard can be devised and agreed upon is there anything 
preventing support for that being added later?

regards

Chris

> John Hudson
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 21:01:29 GMT

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