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

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 14:31:38 +0200
Message-ID: <491C1E2A.60208@peda.net>
To: www-style@w3.org
Levantovsky, Vladimir wrote:
>> From: Brad Kemper [mailto:brkemper.comcast@gmail.com] Sent:
>> Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:37 AM
> Yes, I agree that access control gives more flexibility to web
> developer, even though it does weaken a level of font protection to
> some extent. I think I could live with it given that the font data is
> still protected by reasonably strong obfuscation mechanism, and I
> believe that the proposed
> 'obfuscation-though-font-specific-compression' would be an ideal
> solution - it would provide both the sufficient level of protection
> and the high efficiency of font compression.

What does "reasonably strong obfuscation mechanism" mean? If it means
MTX compression that is licensed without field-of-use restrictions what
does it really accomplish over plain gzip compression?

Something to think about: if the compression is lossless and it can be
legally implemented in free (as in open source) operating systems, I'd
assume that font format to be used as native format in no time. That's
because if it allows all the same features and requires less disk space,
there's no reason not to use it all the time.

However, if the compression cannot be used all the time because it
cannot be legally implemented in the operating system, then it also
cannot be used in free (again, as in open source) web browsers (e.g.
Mozilla) either.

You cannot have it both ways: either the same font file can be used both
as a system font and web font or it cannot be used at all (in browser or
in the system). That is, unless you decide that you're not interested in
free software (operating systems or browsers) users. In that case, I
wouldn't count on broad implementation.

The point is that *you cannot have free DRM system*.

>> I don't think there is conceptually anything wrong with the idea of
>> compressing the fonts beyond what is available via gzip. However,
>> you also want it to be something that a browser can do and a
>> desktop application can't, correct? This is where you run into a
>> problem. [...]
> It is indeed very interesting perspective and I agree with you - I
> don't see any problem here. Thinking out loud - I would consider any
> such use to be legitimate, if its implemented according to W3C
> Recommendation. I see no need to disallow style sheets link to any
> fonts - either local or linked from a remote server (assuming that
> they are properly licensed).

Are you okay with assumed "properly licensed" status or do you require
some technological "protection" with machine checked licensing? (The
protection in quotes because we're delaing with some kind of DRM system
which *cannot* prevent copyright violantions.)

> Local fonts are stored in the raw format
> anyway, and the fonts from a remote server would be downloaded and
> decompressed by UA, and made available for temporary use (e.g. while
> you are using Google Docs). I don't see any problem with it.

How about an UA that makes the fonts available for permanent use despite
the *recommended* behavior? Will the fonts be licensed with a clause
that prevent serving the font to UAs outside a given list (say "Mozilla
Firefox 3 or later, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or later) and other
UAs will just have to deal without those fonts or lie in their UA string?


Received on Thursday, 13 November 2008 12:32:20 UTC

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