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Re: EOT-Lite File Format

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Aug 2009 21:09:21 -0700
Message-ID: <4A7662F1.8010609@tiro.com>
To: robert@ocallahan.org
CC: www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Robert O'Callahan wrote:

>     Yes, the reality of the format and how it is implemented affects how
>     EULAs are written. That is true of pretty much any technology
>     involving licensed content. And this is what I am saying: font
>     makers who want to license fonts for use with a given format will
>     write EULAs that enable authors to use their fonts in the format as
>     specified and implemented. We've been doing this with every font
>     format that's come along in the past three decades. It is typically
>     the case, at least for fonts, that the format affects the EULA *not
>     the other way round*.

> Will font vendors write EULAs that enable authors to use their fonts in 
> the bare font formats we already support in Firefox? Apparently not, so 
> what you say is not universally true.

I wrote:

	...font makers who *want* to license fonts for use
	with a given format will write EULAs that enable
	authors to use their fonts in the format as specified
	and implemented.

I'm not talking about formats for which they *don't* want to license 
their fonts.

> If EOTL is only practical to deploy in a way that allows "hotlinking" 
> for all users on IE<=8, will font vendors bend their EULAs to permit 
> such deployment? That's my question. If you think the answer is 
> obviously yes, that's interesting news.

I suspect some would and some would not. Those that would are those who 
like the EOTL option because of its immediate licensing potential and 
ready compatibility with IE<=8 -- i.e. companies like Ascender --, and 
those that would not are probably those who favour something like 
.webfont instead of, rather than in addition to, EOTL.

And, of course, font makers who are seriously concerned about hotlinking 
in IE<=8 would be able to specify that authors serve EOT Classic with 
rootstrings to those browsers and EOTL only to other browsers.

The Ascender EULA seems to be deliberately vague on the 'reasonable 
effort' it requires of authors. I suspect because it isn't until people 
start licensing and using the fonts and browsers start implementing the 
format that it will be really clear to either authors or font makers 
what mechanisms are in fact reasonable.

As I understand what you have written, referrer checking may be an 
unreasonable mechanism for some authors to manage; whereas, it might be 
perfectly reasonable for some other authors who run their own servers 
and have the necessary access and competence to do this kind of thing.

I agree that this is an interesting question, and I'd be happy to take 
it to my colleagues. Perhaps you and I can formulate the question in a 
way that explains the technical issues?

JH
Received on Monday, 3 August 2009 04:10:00 GMT

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