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Re: css3-fonts: should not dictate usage policy with respect to origin

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 16:40:09 -0700
Message-ID: <4DFBE5D9.3080608@tiro.com>
To: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
CC: W3C Style <www-style@w3.org>, 3668 FONT <public-webfonts-wg@w3.org>, www-font@w3.org
Glenn Adams wrote:

> I will take a close look at that proposal and respond further. Samsung's 
> primary concern is that this type of requirement (as presently written) 
> delves into the domain of content protection or the enforcement of 
> business terms.

There was a lot of discussion about this over the past two years, and 
content protection and digital rights enforcement have been consciously 
excluded from webfonts since long before the W3C Webfonts WG was formed. 
The majority of the user agent makers involved made it very clear from 
the beginning that such things would not be acceptable, and the font 
foundries have accepted that. Rather, the goal has been to define an 
easy-to-use and reliable mechanism that enables authors to conform to 
same origin license terms while not requiring user agents to police or 
enforce any specific digital rights management or protection.

 > It is one thing to define a mechanism that can be used
> by those who wish to control content use and dissemination; it is an 
> entirely different matter to mandate use of such a mechanism within a 
> content format definition or referencing scheme.

I understand this point. But in order for such a mechanism to be usable, 
it's implementation in the user agent has to be defined somewhere.

> To provide an analogy, the television and motion picture industry is 
> happy with MPEG-2 and related media formats being defined without 
> reference to content protection (CP) or digital rights management (DRM) 
> mechanisms, and *most* would have objected had the definition of MPEG-2 
> required use or enforcement of a specific CP or DRM mechanism. However, 
> that has not prevented these industries from independently defining and 
> deploying effective CP and DRM to control the use of MPEG-2 content. 
> [Substitute your favorite A/V format for MPEG-2.]

I don't think this is a particularly good analogy, because the 
'ecosystem' of digital video is very different from that of digital 
fonts. The television and motion picture industry is a top-heavy 
synergistic multimedia conglomeration, producing and selling consumer 
content. The font business (there is no industry) is diffuse, mostly 
represented by small, independent designers, producing and licensing 
professional tools for content creation and display.

I think I can safely say that the majority of font makers have neither 
the interest in defining and deploying content protection and digital 
rights management mechanisms nor the resources and capabilities to do 
so. All we have requested is that there be a simple Web standard 
mechanism that will prevent hotlinking of Web served fonts.

Personally, I think Anne's suggestion of a generic header makes a lot of 
sense, and will provide content authors with a single reliable mechanism 
to set whatever restrictions or permissions they see fit. There is no 
onus on the user agent to be responsible for ensuring that the header 
settings correspond to any particular license terms or digital rights: 
the responsibility is that of the author, and the user agent only needs 
to treat the header settings according to the header specification. Does 
that sound reasonable?

JH
Received on Friday, 17 June 2011 23:40:52 GMT

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