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EOT & DMCA concerns

From: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 16:08:58 -0700
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0908031608q643fec36ka8e9855f351eabe5@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Cc: www-font@w3.org
John Hudson wrote:

> Again: if browser makers don't want to enforce rootstrings, then they have
> to stay the heck away from them. Ignoring them is not an option because
> rootstrings may be considered a technical measure within the definition of
> DMCA. Only a court can determine for sure whether they fall under the DMCA,
> but insofar as the EOTC spec says that user agents *must* respect
> rootstrings they seem to me a much surer bet than e.g. OT embedding bits
> which applications only should respect.

I agree that this is an issue for a court to decide. Neither of us is
a lawyer, and we are not offering legal advice. But the Monotype v
Adobe decision seemed pretty clear to me that it wasn't an issue of
whether the spec says "must" that made embedding bits not a
technological measure. In fact, that was irrelevant.

I hate to call for massive reading, but anybody who wants to declare
their DMCA worries about web fonts and EOT (whether "Lite" or
"Classic") really needs to first read the Agfa Monotype v Adobe
decision, which can be found here:
http://www.steptoe.com/attachment.html/2280/338b.pdf  see especially
the opening and page 10 and onwards.

In my reading, there were several reasons each of which would have
independently sufficed to cause the judge to dismiss the lawsuit in a
summary judgment. At least two would apply to browsers doing EOT
Classic, and possibly three.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, but anybody advocating fear and worry should
read this carefully. If I were representing a type foundry, being
aware of this I sure as heck wouldn't try to initiate DMCA action
against a browser vendor for ignoring root strings in EOT Classic
fonts. Of course, people can initiate legal actions on any basis they
like, but I would be surprised to see any in this case.

Cheers,

T
Received on Monday, 3 August 2009 23:09:41 GMT

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