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Re: The unmentionable

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 18:18:03 -0700
Message-ID: <4A6FA34B.3090801@tiro.com>
To: www-font@w3.org
Chris Fynn wrote:

> I think we need to be clear about this, as I get the feeling there may 
> still be some who primarily see all these web font proposals as offering 
> some form of IP protection - even if it is only a low "garden fence".

We do need to be clear that the minimal protections at the format level 
being discussed are not viable protections of font IP against any kind 
of deliberate misuse. I know Tal and Erik have been very clear in 
communicating this to our type design colleagues, and I think everyone 
understands that we're not getting anything that would even approach 
enabling a DRM business model for font licensing.

We also need to be clear that insofar as honest users do not want to 
break license agreements and, in the case of corporate users, have much 
to risk if they do break license agreements, the minimal protections 
against casual misuse protect the user as much or more than they protect 
the font data.


What the non-IE browser makers have indicated that they do not want is 
technical protections of a kind that would require them to enforce 
anything and potentially expose them to DMCA lawsuits. Such protections 
are not on the table.

An attempt to interpret the clearly stated position of the browser 
makers to imply that *any* kind of protection at all is anathema and 
'will not fly', is unsupportable. The browser makers have already 
indicated what kinds of protections they would be willing to accept in a 
web font format. There is no fantasy 'architectural board' that dictates 
what will and will not be permitted on abstract principles. There are 
parties with stakes in the game who need to negotiate consensual 
solutions. Which is what we are gradually doing.

John Hudson
Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 01:18:49 GMT

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