W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2008

Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2008 10:54:55 +0200
Message-ID: <4912B0DF.3090600@peda.net>
To: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Thomas Phinney wrote:
>> What's wrong with plain old TTF/OT files? They work great for 
>> developers, and they work great for users. Those are the
>> constituents that browser vendors need to be looking out for. I
>> don't really see why we would go out of our way to make things
>> harder for developers and users just to go on a DRM fool's errand.
> I agree that those are the constituents browser vendors should be
> looking out for. But "plain old TTF/OT files" do NOT meet the needs
> of developers. The logic is simple.
> 1) Developers (especially designer-developers) dearly want to be able
> to use any font at all, and they want to be able to do so legally.
> They value "retail" fonts and don't want to be stuck using only
> shareware/freeware/open-source fonts. We know this from several
> hundred responses to surveys aimed at end users.

I agree.

> 2) The folks who make the retail fonts want exactly the two kinds of
> protections in question, which requirements are met by EOT and
> apparently by the compromise proposal as well.

Plain old TTF/OT fonts already have the same protection as any other
content in the internet: the copyright law. It already protects HTML,
XML, CSS, images and videos.

Why do font foundries think that they deserve some special protection?
Only because they *currently* do not license their fonts to be used
without some special protection?

I think the best solution is to go with plain TTF/OT fonts and bite the
bullet. There are freely available fonts and if commercial font
foundries do not want to license fonts to be used in the internet,
that's their choice! They own those fonts, after all. I'm 100% sure that
if browsers will support only plain TTF/OT fonts, the commercial font
foundries will licence their fonts. It may take a year or two but that's
their only choice if they want to remain in the business. Otherwise free
fonts will be used more and more in the internet and sooner or later,
the same progress will spread to paper documents (because the users have
gotten accustomed to those fonts). Free fonts are not going away.
Instead, more and more free fonts will emerge.

I repeat: I see the *current licensing options* of commercial font
foundries as the only reason for using EOT over plain TTF/OT files.

That does not require a technological fix.

>> DRM is evil. Easily-circumvented DRM is pointless and evil.
> I believe this isn't DRM, but DRE (and even more so in the new
> "compromise proposal"). But of course calling it DRM makes it easier
> for W3C folks to have a knee-jerk reaction against it.

DRM is short for "Digital Rights Management", as far as I know. How is
EOT not a DRM system? It's only purpose is to manage(/protect) font's
copyright using digitally specified restrictions (domain name encoded in
the file).


Received on Thursday, 6 November 2008 08:56:09 UTC

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