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RE: EOT-Lite File Format

From: Richard Fink <rfink@readableweb.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 12:36:51 -0400
To: "'John Hudson'" <tiro@tiro.com>, "'Levantovsky, Vladimir'" <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>
Cc: "'Thomas Lord'" <lord@emf.net>, "'Thomas Phinney'" <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>, "'Sylvain Galineau'" <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "'Tab Atkins Jr.'" <jackalmage@gmail.com>, <robert@ocallahan.org>, "'John Daggett'" <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, "'www-font'" <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <005e01ca11fd$1e00d6d0$5a028470$@com>
Friday, July 31, 2009 John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>:

John,

(I've been battling a dental infection the past two days so I might be
missing a fine point you're trying to make, my apologies in advance if
that's the case...)

To put it plainly, as of IE 9, licenses will have to be redrafted as will
anything and everything predicated on IE's continued support for EOT
classic. There is no way for feature-by-feature support for both to exist in
tandem. There will be breakage. Downlevel IE versions will be able to read
EOTL but the converse won't be true. And as Vlad points out in a later post,
EOT classic files will likely have MTX and XOR anyway, and will have to be
re-made.

>I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that a browser that fails to follow 
>this when encountering an EOT-Classic font is at legal risk.

Since, as a practical matter, in >IE8 certain features of EOT CL will be
obsolete and you'll need new files, where does a problem arise? And as a
non-lawyer who's better-read than most on the pertinent case law, I don't
see any risk even if the files didn't need to be re-made. I echo what Thomas
Phinney said on this.

Regards,

rich

-----Original Message-----
From: www-font-request@w3.org [mailto:www-font-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of
John Hudson
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 2:20 AM
To: Levantovsky, Vladimir
Cc: Thomas Lord; Thomas Phinney; Sylvain Galineau; Tab Atkins Jr.;
robert@ocallahan.org; John Daggett; www-font
Subject: Re: EOT-Lite File Format

Vladimir wrote:

> As I understand what the current draft says
> (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0780.html), the
> EOT-Lite conforming UA will render a font if it's capable to do so,
> regardless of the presence of rootstring (i.e. completely ignoring the
> root strings, whether mismatched or not).

It makes sense that the EOT-Lite proposal makes such a statement about 
EOT-Lite fonts. But, again, this presumes a distinction can be made 
between EOT-Lite and EOT-Classic fonts when encountered in the wild, 
because ignoring the rootstrings in a format that deliberately states 
that rootstrings should be ignored is different from ignoring 
rootstrings in a format that deliberately states that

	User Agents must validate that the page using
	the embedded font is within the list of URLs
	from which the embedded font object may be
	legitimately referenced. [1]

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that a browser that fails to follow 
this when encountering an EOT-Classic font is at legal risk. If not, why 
all the fuss about DMCA? At the very least, this seems to me a question 
that needs to be examined by qualified lawyers experienced with this 
kind of issue.

At present, the non-IE browser makers are deliberately not touching EOT 
fonts because they don't want to get entangled with the rootstring 
issue. They're not supporting EOT but ignoring rootstrings: they're 
keeping the heck away from EOT altogether. It seems to me that they must 
continue to do so, because the status of EOT Classic fonts doesn't 
magically change when EOT Lite comes along.  This means that while EOT 
Lite fonts can be backwards compatible with IE<=8, EOT Classic fonts 
must not be forwards compatible with EOT Lite. Somehow the two formats 
need to be clearly distinct at the file level, such that an EOT Lite 
implementing browser can process the one but avoid the other.

JH


[1] http://www.w3.org/Submission/2008/SUBM-EOT-20080305/#RootString
Received on Friday, 31 July 2009 16:37:40 GMT

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