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

Re: New work on fonts at W3C

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 07:52:26 -0700
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <C669ABED-D145-4682-8AB7-916D5CD9C11D@gmail.com>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>

On Jun 16, 2009, at 4:41 PM, John Daggett wrote:

>> What the commercial font vendors want is not really a technical  
>> measure
>> to completely prevent others to obtain the font file and re-use it  
>> (in
>> other web contexts or in different media). In most cases, they do not
>> want an impenetrable wall. Much rather do they want some simple way  
>> to
>> put a fence around their property and put a label on it that says "no
>> tresspassing". Jumping the fence is doable. The fence is a  
>> psychological
>> and legal barrier, rather than a viable technical one.
>> Simply speaking: commercial font vendors do not want that any user  
>> grabs
>> their font from a website that uses it, downloads it and uses it  
>> for his
>> own purpose (install on his desktop system and use it in a text
>> processing application such as Word, or graphic design application  
>> such
>> as InDesign or Photoshop). Commercial font vendors would prefer if
>> desktop fonts stayed desktop fonts, and web fonts stayed web fonts.
>> Also, commercial font vendors would like to be able to put a label  
>> into
>> a web font that says "this font belongs to this website". Nothing  
>> more.
> You don't need a new format to do these two things, you can do this  
> by tweaking the contents of the name table in TrueType/OpenType fonts:
> 1) Make the family name "No Tresspassing" and the style name " for  
> web use only" in for all web fonts.  Better yet, put in a GUID  
> string based on the purchaser/site.
> 2) Change the contents of the license record to say "This font  
> licensed to xxx by yyy for use on site zzz.  All other use  
> restricted and governed by the terms below.  For more information on  
> this excellent font please visit www.example.com/fantasticfont."
> 3) Include a sample @font-face definition in a text file that  
> defines the set of font faces and their associated style attributes  
> (i.e. not the obfuscated style names above).
> That seems to satisfy your requirements; "normal" use in desktop  
> applications will not be possible and the font data will be clearly  
> marked as being associated with a given site in the license metadata.

These sound like really great ideas. I wonder if one of the fields  
(such as the license record) could contain a machine-readable list of  
sites that the font was licensed for, and if that list could be used  
for CORS (for an HTTP server serving the font to read and include in  
the header, or for the browser to read directly as though it was a  
Received on Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:53:10 UTC

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