W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-font@w3.org > July to September 1996

Re[2]: Protecting WebFonts

From: Brad Chase <brad_chase@met.bitstream.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 96 09:47:01 edt
Message-Id: <9607268410.AA841079528@met.bitstream.com>
To: www-font@w3.org
Michael Bernstein wrote:

> There's a difference between use and distribute.  Publishers have the 
> right to use the fonts they bought.  They don't have a right to 
> distribute them.  I'd like to find a method which will allow publishers 
> to use fonts on the web without distributing them, because that's all 
> they have the right to do.  TrueDoc and such are methods for 
> distributing the fonts as well as using them.

TrueDoc is a technology that allows scaleable outlines to be rendered on a 
remote viewing system. It is designed to facilitate the use of fonts, not their 

TrueDoc font files cannot be installed directly into operating systems, and are 
of no use to non-TrueDoc programs. The viewing system must have a TrueDoc 
enabled user agent in order to display the outlines. TrueDoc's native font 
interfaces (a) build temporary fonts (in memory) in the client system's native 
format and (b) install them as PRIVATE fonts, unavailable to other apps or to 
the user via a font selection dialog.

TrueDoc is licensed to legitimate developers for specific implementations. While
the technology certainly *could* be manipulated to illegally copy fonts, any 
developer that did so would clearly be prosecutable. And you better believe that
anyone using TrueDoc without a license (the most likely case for any 'font 
crawler' type use) will be hearing from Bitstream's legal department.....

> Adobe and Bitstream have put forth technologies which allow anyone 
> with a copy of their fonts to redistribute it.  That's what TrueDoc 
> and it's kind do.  If they don't want to give away their fonts, they 
> screwed up.

NO. On two counts.

1) TrueDoc works with all font formats from all foundries - not just 
Bitstream fonts.

2) As discussed above, TrueDoc is for facilitating the use of fonts, 
not the illegal distribution of them.
> Unfortunately, your proposal includes distributing the fonts.  Yes, you 
> want to protect them.  Yes, if everybody plays along, the fonts will 
> remain secure.  But I don't want to gamble on that.  If everybody 
> played fair, we wouldn't have pirated software and bootleg CDs.

As long as copying fonts is made difficult enough, only someone trying to 
bootleg fonts for money will bother with it, and we have a successful 
history of prosecuting these cases.
     Brad Chase
     Product Manager
     Bitstream Inc.
Received on Monday, 26 August 1996 10:12:35 UTC

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