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: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 23:44:17 -0700
Cc: "robert@ocallahan.org" <robert@ocallahan.org>, www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <3FA9634A-986C-4DB3-B631-8E89380132A2@gmail.com>
To: Christopher Slye <cslye@adobe.com>

On Jun 22, 2009, at 5:42 PM, Christopher Slye wrote:

> On Jun 22, 2009, at 5:12 PM, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
>
>> It seems font vendors keep drifting into a belief that EOT somehow  
>> "protects" their font data. So let's repeat the truth again: it  
>> does no such thing. It only forces a user to run an tool over the  
>> font file after downloading it and before reusing it. Any other  
>> mechanism that requires the user to run a tool over the font file  
>> before using it has exactly the same deterrent effect.
>>
>> That tool could be something as simple as a browser extension that  
>> automatically converts every EOT file that is downloaded to TTF/ 
>> OTF. Alternatively, someone could develop an Apache module that  
>> automatically rewrites the EOT rootstring to match the server's  
>> hostname, for every EOT font served. That would actually be quite  
>> convenient for Web developers since it would address the staging  
>> problem.
>
> I see no evidence that anyone's perception of EOT has drifted. We  
> got behind it because we looked at it and decided that it was  
> "enough protection" for us. At Adobe, we certainly understand what  
> EOT is and isn't. I've not heard anyone claiming that EOT is perfect  
> font protection -- but it (and some similar proposal, in theory)  
> offers enough of what we have decided we need before licensing our  
> fonts for use on the web.
>
> By the way, there is nothing objectively truthful about the  
> statement "EOT does not protect fonts". The notion of "protection"  
> is so dependent on a number of technical, legal and relativistic  
> interpretations that it's not particularly helpful to pretend  
> otherwise, IMO.

A paper clip used as a substitute for a padlock might fit some legal  
definition of protection I suppose, but practically speaking its not  
going to do much at all from keeping a burglar from breaking into your  
home. It might possible convey the intent of not wanting unauthorized  
people to open the door though. That's really about all you can hope  
for from EOT "protection". And that is something the renaming scheme  
proposed by John Daggett does just as well, and more simply, without  
requiring new font formats.
Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 06:44:57 GMT

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