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RE: Fonts (was Re: follow up on service workers for publishing platform)

From: Levantovsky, Vladimir <Vladimir.Levantovsky@monotype.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 16:10:21 +0000
To: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
CC: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>, Dave Cramer <Dave.Cramer@hbgusa.com>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Message-ID: <55bdcc0dce81452481ff08fa314704cf@wob-maildb-03.agfamonotype.org>
On Wednesday, December 02, 2015 5:22 PM Leonard Rosenthol wrote:
> On 12/2/15, 12:58 PM, "Levantovsky, Vladimir" <Vladimir.Levantovsky@monotype.com> wrote:

>> The font industry as a whole is at peace with web font technology
>
> Yes and no.  While I agree with the above statement, what it misses is that web fonts 
> are completely separate from desktop fonts - both technically and legally.  And a PWP 
> cross the boundaries - hence my concerns.

I respectfully disagree. Web Fonts differ from desktop fonts only by packaging - the existing web font formats define a way to compress font data and wrap it in a file that contains additional metadata and private data. The process is 100% reversible (this is what UAs do to get the original font rendered by platform-supplied font engines) and the arguments that web fonts are somehow technically different from desktop fonts doesn't hold up. (Most of the online font stores supplied zipped font files for download when someone purchase them - conceptually this is true for webfonts as well, they are supplied as compressed files for transfer to be decompressed and used by the UA.)

When it comes to "legal" differences (where I am strongly opposed to even using the term "legal"), we need to clearly understand that we are talking about the differences between two licensed use cases and nothing else, the underlying font resource is the same for both cases. Considering  web and desktop as examples, one type of standard license gives you permission to use a font for your personal consumption on your personal computer, the other one gives you permission to distribute the font resource to millions (if not billions) of users to show the commercial content. Like I mentioned earlier (again, just as an example for this discussion) - Monotype web font license automatically includes all the rights that a personal desktop license would allow; and if a publisher needs to have special provision included in their particular license (e.g. such as commercial use of fonts for both web and desktop) - this would be a market driven relationship between a client and a vendor and this group cannot change that, hence my argument that bringing up "legal" differences as part of this discussion is misleading and counterproductive. While PWP may be crossing the boundaries between two typical use cases - it will eventually constitute a third typical use case and the vendors have to address it in due course by offering suitable licenses - totally market-driven exercise that has nothing to do with the activities in this group.

>>-	I believe that things like font obfuscation and encryption are definitely out of the 
>> scope for this group, in my opinion. DPUB will be using existing web technologies and 
>> can definitely influence the direction of their development if there is a new use case to 
>> consider, but unless it is justified by the use cases – I don’t see the need to even bring it up.
>
> And here is where we disagree, related to my statement above (and in previous messages).
>
> One of the key goals of PWP is to provide a solution that can serve both as an online and 
> offline publication.  However, because of the current split between web and desktop (offline) 
> fonts it is quite unclear how a PWP could address this today.  Going back to my point(s) about 
> the need to discuss this further.

First of all, to give this discussion a bit more substance - what is 'in' or 'out' of scope isn't a matter of personal opinion - it is defined by the group charter: http://www.w3.org/2015/09/digpubig. My _interpretation_ of the existing group charter is that obfuscation and encryption are out of scope, as it clearly falls into a category of developing final specifications in relevant Working Groups. Further to what I stated earlier, when you talk about the split between web and desktop you are referring to the differences between two typical licensed uses (commercial web publishing and commercial desktop publishing), nothing else. A font license that allows both uses can easily be obtained and there is nothing this group can / should do to make it happen.

Thank you,
Vlad

Received on Thursday, 3 December 2015 16:12:29 UTC

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