W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 2006

Re: Downloadable fonts and image replacement

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 22:06:45 +0200
Message-ID: <444E8155.8000605@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Kelly Miller <lightsolphoenix@gmail.com>
Cc: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, www-style@w3.org
Kelly Miller schreef:
> Dave Raggett wrote:
>> I am therefore looking for support for direct use of TTF files so that I
>> don't have to use a special tool for embedded fonts like Weft [1]. There
>> are plenty of fonts with open licenses that are perfectly good for most
>> purposes, so a DRM-based solution isn't high on my wish list.
> The problem here is that if a user wants the font, what will stop them
> from downloading the ttf file?
> IMO, we need a special encrypted format that can be used to encode fonts
> on the 'Net, so that downloading and using doesn't work.

With regard to DRM, I think that is really a pointless discussion. If 
the browser can decode the fonts to display them, and you intend for 
this to be an open standard, so can a decryption tool. Also, as you want 
to directly support regular TTF fonts anyway and not need a special tool 
to encode them in a different format, there is no way to force common 
users, the ones who have no clue that embedding fonts without license is 
forbidden, to distribute them with DRM.

People who want to steal fonts will be able to easily find loads of them 
online anyway. If it was such an issue, or rather: if it could be solved 
easily, then why are font files still distributed without DRM today? 
When they are distributed through CSS it’s not effortless to extract 
them (you have to look at the source code) so laymen won’t be able to 
easily find them, I think that is sufficient protection. That’s not 
where the real money is anyways.

The people who are really intent on stealing fonts would be able to get 
them anyway, DRM or no, by either decrypting them with a tool, or 
getting them from other sources than CSS files (somehow, I think 
browsing through CSS files looking for fonts is not the most optimal 
means to find the font that you’re looking for, instead use google, any 
peer-to-peer network, or simply copy them from a friend’s computer).

Besides, I think having people use font files instead will actually 
*aid* font file producers. Spidering pages for unlicensed copies of your 
font files is much much easier than developing an OCR 
detection-algorithm and scanning all images on the internet.


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.

Received on Tuesday, 25 April 2006 20:06:56 UTC

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