W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2009

Re: New work on fonts at W3C

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 13:35:54 +0300
Message-ID: <4A37758A.6070003@peda.net>
To: www-style@w3.org
Sylvain Galineau wrote:
> Note that Ascender published a web font proposal last week that
> relates to this charter:
> http://blog.fontembedding.com/post/2009/06/10/New-Web-Fonts-Proposal.aspx

About that proposal...

"However almost all commercial fonts are licensed only for desktop use,
under licenses that do not allow posting to web servers."

There's no technological problem. The only problem is the license for
those commercial fonts! Creating a yet another obfuscated font format
does not change that fact that you still cannot use those fonts because
they are licensed for desktop use only!

"Commercial font developers are unwilling to allow their fonts, licensed
for use on desktops, to be posted on the web."

Again, this is their choice. Why would creating yet another format
change this a bit? They own the font, they decide how it can be used.

"Most font developers believe that without a technological check-point
(even a simple one), that web developers and server owners will not
understand that they may not simply copy a font from a workstation and
use it on the web."

Please, forward this to tech evangelism department. The key words here
are "most font developers believe". If the font developers believe in
flying spaghetti monster, creating another font format will not help
with that, either. The only real choice is to explain the situation in
terms they can understand. There's no and will not be an effective DRM

"a technological check-point (even a simple one), that web developers
and server owners will not understand"

Do we really want to endorse any technology which has the key merit of
being too hard to understand to web developers and server owners?

Also note that browsers from multiple vendors do already support plain
font files (in TTF and/or OTF format). At the same time all those
commercial fonts have to be distributed as plain font files to be usable
in the operating systems. Nothing prevents the user from putting that
plain file on a public web server... except the copyright law, which
commercial font vendors probably do not *believe* in because they're not
happy with plain font files.

Also see previous thread:
Especially the subthread:

Mikko Rantalainen

Received on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 10:36:40 UTC

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