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

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

From: Zack Weinberg <zweinberg@mozilla.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 18:12:26 -0800
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <20081113181226.0311aa89@trurl>

Dave Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:
> At 19:46  -0500 13/11/08, Grey Hodge wrote:
> >It is truly as easy to copy a DVD as it is to copy a CD or floppy.
> No, it's really not.  You have to go out of your way to find that 
> software and use it.  You know you are getting around something[.]

Not so.  I happen to have here a DVD movie ("The Graduate", disc
copyright 2005 MGM Home Entertainment). I put it in the laptop on which
I am typing this message and brought up the context menu for the disc
icon.  "Copy Disc" was one of the options. When selected it brought up
a dialog box asking me whether I wanted to copy to a blank DVD or a
file image; I requested a file image, and it cheerfully started doing
the copy.  I didn't complete the operation, but it got well past the
point where the encryption would have tripped it up if it was going
to.  At no point in this process was there any mention of DRM, or of
this being something that I might not legally or ethically be allowed
to do.

I know that this disc is DRM-ed, but only because I found *one* error
message in a system log that an average user probably doesn't even know
exists, followed immediately by other messages indicating that the file
manager trapped the error and worked around it.

Given that this is exactly the interface the OS presents if you want to
copy a CD (or, yes, a floppy) I think Grey Hodge's claim is accurate.

> ... In the the terms of my previous message, maybe it's only a garden
> gate, but it is there, and it does have an impact on the copying of
> DVDs.

My personal impression is that the impact of DVD DRM is in fact to
*increase* the piracy rate.  There are two reasons for this, one
technical and one psychological.  The technical reason is that
it's easier to break the rules than honor them, because Windows Media
Player is likely to decide that it's not going to play your movie nor
will it explain why, but the freely licensed programs that ignore the
DRM work reliably.  The odds are that someone's going to write a freely
licensed tool that ignores whatever protection ultimately ends up being
on web fonts, not because they have any intent of violating copyright,
but because the protections are making it harder for them to get their
own job done.  For instance, if there ultimately end up being root
strings, I guarantee you that a tool to change those strings will be
in the top five google hits for "font root string" within six months.

The psychological reason is that customers resent it when vendors
assume that they are criminals.  When faced with a DRM scheme, some
fraction of people who would have paid for the bits will pirate them
instead, out of good old-fashioned spite.  The reverse is not true;
people who would not have paid for the bits in the first place, when
faced with a DRM scheme, will still not pay for the bits; if they can't
pirate them they won't use them at all.

Received on Friday, 14 November 2008 02:13:17 UTC

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