Re: Fonts WG Charter feedback

John Hudson wrote:

> Now, it seems to me that browser makers are also looking to benefit
> from the work of typeface designers while offering nothing in return.
> It's easy for them: they add a bit of code to their browsers, present
> cool new features to their users, and let the font vendors and owners
> carry all the risk. Actually, it isn't even a risk, its an 'unintended
> effect' about which our opinions are 'pragmatically irrelevant'. The
> use of fonts on the web is going to turn the web into a giant font
> distribution system. Of the browser makers, only Microsoft (and to a
> much lesser extent perhaps Apple) has reason to be concerned about
> this, because they're the only company that both makes a browser and
> has invested very large sums of money in fonts to add value to their
> operating system and applications. Where are the Opera fonts? Where
> are the Mozilla fonts? Where are the Google fonts? These browser
> makers have no stake in fonts, so it is no wonder that they, plainly,
> don't give a damn about what happens to fonts.

The efforts taken to implement font linking is part of an effort to
improve typography in general on the web, something web authors have
been seeking for a long time.  I think most folks on this list care
about encouraging the legal use of fonts, no one here is actively
campaigning to create a Napster for fonts which seems to be the
implication of your statement.  In turn the benefit to typeface
designers is the opening of a vast, untapped market for fonts on the
web, hopefully one that benefits all involved.  

Yes, making font linking easier to do than current Flash-based
techniques will increase the chance of font piracy but I continue to
believe that ameliorating the effects of pirated font usage is not
overwhelmingly difficult, from obfuscating the name table and adding
sale-specific font metadata to employing server-side solutions that
reduce the chance of a user easily accessing font data that can be
reused for a purpose other than rendering text on a given webpage. 
Clever folks will always figure out ways to bypass these fences, the
same is true today through torrents or by pulling font data out of Flash

To be frank, I have trouble understanding what precisely your concerns
are.  Are you concerned that simply allowing linkage of raw or
obfuscated fonts will lead to increased illegal use of existing fonts
not licensed for web use, to the detriment of existing sales?  Or that
fonts licensed for web use can easily be used on the desktop?  Or on
other sites?  Or just frustration at seeing others somehow benefit from
your creations?

John Daggett
Mozilla Japan

Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 23:33:27 UTC