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Re[3]: Protecting WebFonts

From: Brad Chase <brad_chase@met.bitstream.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 96 14:08:15 edt
Message-Id: <9607268410.AA841095135@met.bitstream.com>
To: www-font@w3.org
Michael Bernstein wrote:

> TrueDoc creates new versions of existing fonts and distributes those 
> new versions.  In any country where the outlines are protected, that 
> distribution is illegal if it's without the permission of the 
> copyright owner for the original outlines.  In the US, it's illegal 
> for dingbat fonts and for fonts with design patents.

TrueDoc performs the same function as a FAX machine. The difference is 
that TrueDoc rasterizes at the receiver instead of the sender, allowing 
the use of the best possible resolution.
> You could equally say that a system which simply displayed the new 
> John Grisham novel on multiple remote viewing systems is ok.

Not the same. The legal use of a novel is for reading (or as a paper 
weight, window prop, or door stop, I suppose :-) ). The legal use of 
a font is to publish a document. Publishing inherently entails 
imaging the font. TrueDoc only delays the time at which the final 
imaging is done.
> Sure, if you play by the rules.  But Bitstream makes the software 
> which will convert a font back into an installable font.  Even if 
> Bitstream made that software unavailable, someone else could 
> write it.  

A challenge without knowing what the data format is....

> What's the situation then?  Bitstream says that it's ok to 
> distribute the TrueDoc font file, so anyone who receives a 
> TrueDoc font file must have a legitimate copy of that TrueDoc font 
> file.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Bitstream says it's OK to distribute the TrueDoc font resource ONLY in 
conjunction with an associated document to be imaged on the client 

> A licensed developer can distribute TrueDoc font files.

Our licensees receive the right to distribute programs capable of 
creating and/or rendering TrueDoc Portable Font Resources. They are 
allowed to distribute TrueDoc font resources only if they have 
licensed the font(s) for redistribution.

> Anyone can receive them, and at that point can do whatever they
> want with the font files, according to Bitstream's legal analysis.

The font files may only be used to render the document they are 
associated with.
> I want web fonts.  But the only way I'm going to be satisfied that my 
> rights are being protected is if Bitstream acknowledges explicitly 
> that I own the copyright on Arboreal2, and explains that as long as 
> Arboreal2 is linked to a document, distribution of Arboreal2 is fair 
> use and thus legal.  However, Arboreal3 would not be fair use, and would not 
> be legal.

See previous response.


Michael, I'm glad that you're taking the time to explain your concerns. With 
this detailed explanation, I can see that part of the problem is a lack of clear
understanding of what TrueDoc is and what it does. (Which in turn is likely due 
to poor communications on our part.)

I hope I've been able to answer your (and everyone else's) concerns. If not, 
I'll be happy to keep going on both the public and private channels.

I think you'll find that Bitstream's aims and concerns are congruent with those 
of font designers. After all, what value is there to a remote font imaging 
technology (i.e. TrueDoc) if everyone already has the fonts????

Thanks for your input!


        Brad Chase
        Product Manager

        Bitstream Inc.


Received on Monday, 26 August 1996 14:32:34 UTC

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