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RE: [css3-webfonts] Downloaded fonts should not...

From: Paul Nelson (ATC) <paulnel@winse.microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 05:40:38 -0700
To: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D92F7E6A79E88B4684BFC067AE15477D28C95AC022@NA-EXMSG-S702.segroup.winse.corp.microsoft.com>

Fonts have embedding bits as part of the 'os2' table. This is documented in the OpenType font specification and called out clearly in the EOT submission. This is well documented for many years and understood by the font industry.

If user agents honor the font embedding bits and web authors make sure they have the right licensing to embed fonts on their pages we should have a good solution.

Paul

________________________________________
From: www-style-request@w3.org [www-style-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mikko Rantalainen [mikko.rantalainen@peda.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:54 PM
To: www-style@w3.org
Subject: Re: [css3-webfonts] Downloaded fonts should not...

Patrick Garies wrote:
> Paul Nelson (ATC) wrote:
>>  2. A licensing issue. A font may or may not be allowed to be
>>  installed permanently. It all depends upon the EULA. The safest thing
>>  for UAs to do is to temporarily install the font for use with the
>>  page using a memory only install.
>
> As far as I can tell, this offers no benefit to anyone but copyright
> holders; it hinders the UA for no practical benefit for the user or site
> author.

I agree. I think that the font designer should be allowed to prevent
embedding in the EULA and doing so should prevent the use of said font
in the web pages. There's no need for technological measures for such
prevention. This is no different from, say licensed photos compressed
with JPEG codec.

I think that no support of any kind should be provided for embedding
fonts that have EULA that prevents free embedding on any web page.

> Since other formats receive no such protection, one wonders why you
> would except font file formats? Even this “protection” is largely
> useless, since I would expect users to be able to obtain the files by
> navigating to the file URI directly if they couldn’t get it out of their
> cache. Additionally, don’t HTTP and UAs already have mechanisms to
> disable caching if this is the author’s desire?

HTTP has Cache-Control header value no-store for exactly this purpose.

However, such feature is not meant for DRM systems and does not provide
"copy protection". Resources served with no-store are not stored to
permanent storage (such as UA cache implemented on OS provided file
system). However, the OS API may require user software to provide a file
in local file system to be able to use the font so use of no-store might
prevent loading of embedded font at all. The no-store values does not
prevent the UA from providing an user interface feature to permanently
store a copy of the resource.

As I said, no support should be provided for using font files that
cannot be easily used only because of licensing issues. Either the font
author fixes the license or such font cannot be used at all. Could not
be simpler.

--
Mikko
Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:43:36 GMT

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