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Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 09:45:21 -0600
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0811100745o32028a23q951c99f3e50d8161@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Philip TAYLOR" <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>
Cc: "Mikko Rantalainen" <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>, www-style@w3.org
On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 9:29 AM, Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk> wrote:

> Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>
> > Well, *any* form of required DRM will hinder free fonts, don't you
> > think?
>
> Yes, I do, but I don't think that /required/ DRM was being
> proposed (I may be wrong); my understanding is that the
> major type foundries wish to require DRM technology
> to be used when web-serving their proprietary fonts, whilst
> in no way impeding  the right of "free" (or non-proprietary,
> or "open source", or whatever) vendors to offer fonts for
> which no such DRM protection is required.  As Vladimir said
> in his second message "I am not proposing to forbid linking
> to raw TrueType fonts, in some circumstances (e.g. when raw
> font has "installable embedding" allowed)."


Pardon my ignorance, but is that a property set within the font file?  If
so, then yeah, I'm cool with this.  Again, as long as there is a way to
reliably segregate free fonts from copyright-protected fonts, then any level
of DRM seems acceptable on a technical level.  My technical issues revolve
solely around forcing people who opt *not* to employ such DRM measures to
deal with them anyway for the 'protection' of those that do.  As long as
Vladimir's proposal can be selectively applied only to those fonts who's
license-holders wish to restrict their distribution, then I'm fine with
this, and actually find it relatively acceptable due to the technical
benefits accrued from compression (especially if the claim that
MTX-compressed fonts are smaller than gzipped ones with no loss).

> If I have a free font, I want to be able to use it without any
> > difficult; I want to link it directly.  The entire issue here is that if
> > you allow unrestricted linking of free fonts, there's no way to prevent
> > unrestricted linking of copyright-protected fonts either.
>
> When you say "there is no way", I think you mean "there is no
> failsafe way", but there is what appears to me to be a perfectly
> acceptable non-failsafe-way : the licence for the font may
> explicitly require the use of appropriate DRM technology when
> web-linking.  It is up to the legal departments of the various
> font foundries to review the licences for their existing fonts
> and to decide what protection such licence already offers, and
> whether an additional licence may need to be offered where the
> existing licence precludes web usage.  If a font has already been
> licenced in such a way that unprotected web deployment is permitted,
> then that is the foundry's problem, and not something that needs
> to be addressed here.


Ah yes, of course.  I have absolutely no objections to foundries using the
standard *legal* means to protect their content from infringement.
Seriously, they can go crazy with their licensing.  That doesn't affect me
or the technologies I use in any way, so I have no legitimate objection to
that.

~TJ
Received on Monday, 10 November 2008 15:59:29 GMT

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