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Re: Agenda, action items and suggested WOFF changes

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 20:11:35 -0700
Message-ID: <4BE8CAE7.2080600@tiro.com>
To: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
CC: public-webfonts-wg@w3.org, Vladimir Levantovsky <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
John Daggett wrote:

>> WOFF creations tools MUST verify that a font
>> converted to the WOFF format does not have
>> font embedding permissions set to ‘Restricted
>> License Embedding’, and SHOULD generate an error
>> message when this condition is encountered.
>> Fonts that have “Restricted License Embedding”
>> set as the only level of embedding allowed
>> MUST NOT be converted to WOFF format.

> This is implicitly inferring that "restricted license embedding"
> implies "no web use"; it may be the common case but it can't be
> *assumed*. For example, a font designer could decide that WOFF use via
> a particular service is fine but the font shouldn't be embedded when
> a webpage is printed to PDF.  Document embedding and web linking are
> very distinct uses, I don't think we should blur that distinction.

While I generally agree that embedding and linking are distinct -- 
despite the vagueness of the OT/OFF spec and the confusion introduced by 
EOT's treatment of embedding bits -- I'll note that the OT/OFF spec is 
uncommonly explicit with regard to 'Restricted License Embedding':

	Fonts that have *only* this bit set *must not be
	modified, embedded or exchanged in any manner*
	without first obtaining permission of the legal
	owner.

I read this as referring not only to document embedding, however that is 
to be understood in terms of the OT/OFF spec, but to 'any manner' of 
exchanging a font, including web linking. This is why I think this 
particular bit setting may legitimately be interpreted as prohibiting 
WOFF creation.

That said, the example you cite of webpage-to-PDF printing is an 
interesting one, and may be a compelling reason to exclude even 
'Restricted License Embedding' from web font consideration.

There are some reserved bits in the fsType array, so perhaps the 
solution would be to have one of these assigned to 'No web font use 
allowed'? I suspect this could be spec'd and agreed within the timeframe 
of the WOFF standardisation, and would enable us to reference this new 
bit with regard to WOFF creation.


Thank you for your suggestion of postponing conference call discussion 
of this until I am able to participate next week.

John Hudson
Received on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 03:12:22 UTC

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