RE: Fonts WG Charter feedback

On Thursday, July 02, 2009 1:47 AM Christopher Fynn wrote:
> While font vendors may be pushing for it, in the long run, is a new
> web-only font format going to be any more effective at "protecting"
> fonts than various audio formats have been at "protecting" music?

I am not sure about music in general, but I think that iTunes is a good
example where the technology, the users and the content providers strike
a (nearly) perfect balance, which makes everybody happy as a result.
Yes, I regret sometimes not being able to directly transfer the music
files I purchased on iTunes to other devices, but I find this
inconvenience a small price to pay for having a service such as iTunes
provided to me, and for having a great collection of top-rated artists
with wide range of choices available to all users.

As far as fonts are concerned, I hope that common sense will finally
prevail. Memory / performance tradeoffs are typical for many application
domains, as I believe is the case here as well. It is much more
practical for font data (or any data) to always be compressed when
transferred over the Internet (for many reasons we already discussed),
and it is highly unlikely that OS and platforms would want to sacrifice
performance for the sake of saving disk space using compressed fonts.
Even if an efficient compression is the only distinction between web
font and system font formats, it would prevent web fonts from being
"drag-and-drop"-copied into a system fonts folder. Yes, web fonts can be
easily decompressed and used as system fonts, but this would be a
willful act, not a casual misuse. As an analogy that was once discussed
on this thread:
- will a garden fence protect you from a home invasion? Definitely not!
- will a garden fence provide sufficient protection against trespassing?
Yes, totally.

> Wouldn't it be much easier for font foundries and vendors to find
> sites using their fonts (legally or illegally) where the original
> un-obfuscated, un-subsetted fonts are being used? Unlicensed use of
> fonts on the internet should be *far* easier to police than unlicensed
> use in printed publications.

I want to make it clear that font vendors have full trust that authors
will always do the right things and license fonts properly, so I see no
reason policing them. However, by making raw TTF/OTF fonts available on
the web for unrestricted access, we create an environment where fonts
are easily accessible, can be copied any time by anyone for any use
outside web - this is what font vendors are most concerned about. I
think that a simple solution such as what was outlined by Tab Atkins
( will
be sufficient, effective and, at the same, useful for authors and web


> - Chris
> Sylvain Galineau wrote:
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Ian Hickson []
> >> Wouldn't operating systems just build support in for these fonts,
> >> making
> >> the entire exercise pointless? I mean, I assume FreeType would
> support
> >> these fonts natively almost immediately, and I see no reason to
> suspect
> >> that Apple wouldn't add support for this new format to Mac OS X
> >> since
> >> it would aid developers significantly if they could see these fonts
> in
> >> other applications once they've acquired them.
> > My employer would be unlikely to do so given its stance on the
> matter. But yes,
> > native OS support for this font encoding may bring us back to square
> one on that platform.
> >

Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 16:57:27 UTC