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Re: EOT-Lite File Format

From: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 23:56:55 -0700
Message-ID: <f49ae6ac0907302356i2a64ab7t2db6716be3f0dca7@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Cc: "Levantovsky, Vladimir" <Vladimir.Levantovsky@monotypeimaging.com>, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>, Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, robert@ocallahan.org, John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 11:19 PM, John Hudson<tiro@tiro.com> wrote:
> Vladimir wrote:
>> As I understand what the current draft says
>> (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-font/2009JulSep/0780.html), the
>> EOT-Lite conforming UA will render a font if it's capable to do so,
>> regardless of the presence of rootstring (i.e. completely ignoring the
>> root strings, whether mismatched or not).
> It makes sense that the EOT-Lite proposal makes such a statement about
> EOT-Lite fonts. But, again, this presumes a distinction can be made between
> EOT-Lite and EOT-Classic fonts when encountered in the wild, because
> ignoring the rootstrings in a format that deliberately states that
> rootstrings should be ignored is different from ignoring rootstrings in a
> format that deliberately states that
>        User Agents must validate that the page using
>        the embedded font is within the list of URLs
>        from which the embedded font object may be
>        legitimately referenced. [1]
> I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that a browser that fails to follow
> this when encountering an EOT-Classic font is at legal risk. If not, why all
> the fuss about DMCA? At the very least, this seems to me a question that
> needs to be examined by qualified lawyers experienced with this kind of
> issue.

I'm not a lawyer, of course. But the Monotype vs Adobe lawsuit was
very interesting in this regard: if it were precedent (which it isn't
outside of the US federal district it was filed in), I would assume a
court would find that root strings are not a "technical measure" in
the DMCA sense, given that embedding bits are not such a measure.

If I were a browser vendor, I'd go pay Frank Martinez to give me a
legal opinion on this.

> At present, the non-IE browser makers are deliberately not touching EOT
> fonts because they don't want to get entangled with the rootstring issue.
> They're not supporting EOT but ignoring rootstrings: they're keeping the
> heck away from EOT altogether. It seems to me that they must continue to do
> so, because the status of EOT Classic fonts doesn't magically change when
> EOT Lite comes along.  This means that while EOT Lite fonts can be backwards
> compatible with IE<=8, EOT Classic fonts must not be forwards compatible
> with EOT Lite. Somehow the two formats need to be clearly distinct at the
> file level, such that an EOT Lite implementing browser can process the one
> but avoid the other.

The version string is one such difference, no? If the file extension
is different, that would be another such difference.

I should add that I don't much care if Classic EOT fonts don't work in
new EOT-Lite-supporting browsers. Unfortunate for those few sites
using Classic EOT fonts, but they're not any worse off in the future
than they are today. Having EOT Lite fonts work in old IE is the big


Received on Friday, 31 July 2009 06:57:37 UTC

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