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RE: Agenda, action items and suggested WOFF changes

From: Levantovsky, Vladimir <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2010 06:20:43 -0400
To: "rfink@readableweb.com" <rfink@readableweb.com>, 'John Daggett' <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, 'John Hudson' <tiro@tiro.com>
CC: 'Chris Lilley' <chris@w3.org>, "public-webfonts-wg@w3.org" <public-webfonts-wg@w3.org>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7534F85A589E654EB1E44E5CFDC19E3D0209C2D3DF@wob-email-01.agfamonotype.org>
On Friday, May 14, 2010 2:48 PM Richard Fink wrote:
> 
> Friday, May 14, 2010 9:11 AM Vladimir Levantovsky wrote:
> 
> VL> I do believe it makes perfect sense for tools producing WOFF files
> to check the embedding permissions and issue a warning (as you
> suggested in one of your previous emails [1]) if "restricted embedding"
> is the only level specified.
> VL> I think it would be a benefit to a web author if a tool issues a
> warning when this condition is encountered.
> 
> I agree with you! I think it's absolutely nuts that a tool maker would
> need to steer clear of a feature that authors might very much want
> because the tool maker is concerned about legally compromising
> themselves in the event of a dispute.
> 
> But that's the situation that exists today and I'll give you an
> instance in regards to font conversion:
> 
> In the two most commonly used online conversion tools I'm aware of,
> Font Squirrel's @Font-Face Generator and Cufón, the user is required to
> attest that they have the right to do the font conversions by checking
> a box next to the statement:
> 
>      "Yes, the fonts I'm uploading are legally eligible for web
> embedding"
> 
> Now, you probably think this is a good thing.
> I don't.

No, I don't (i.e. I agree with you!). I don't think it's a good idea for WOFF conversion tools to require users to attest to any legal rights they may have, and I never suggested anything like that. Informing the users of a specific condition tools may encounter is *not* the same as asking the user to testify they have a right to do certain things.

> Because that statement is, essentially, an admission that the tool
> *can* be used for fonts that are *not* eligible for web embedding.

I bet if you go to "Home Depot" you will find that many tools are sold in a package that warns a user of a particular hazard he may encounter while using that particular tool. E.g. if you buy a box-cutter or a utility knife you will likely find a warning saying that you can cut yourself if you are not careful. I doubt that the warning would ever be interpreted as an admissions that you can cut someone else, even though it is also a possibility.

> If some irate font producer(s) were to decide that the majority of
> people using that online tool are a bunch of lying pirates and they
> were to take such a site to task for contributory infringement or
> inducement to infringe, a good part of their lawyer's work has already
> been done for them by the site itself. The site has already admitted
> that it will allow anybody, with only the simple click of a checkbox,
> to convert fonts whether they are "legally eligible" or not. And I'm
> sure it would be argued it's inducement to infringe because a paltry
> checkbox is all the enforcement there is.

I'd rather avoid bringing pure speculations about law and lawyers into our technical discussions.

> No, it's better to have nothing.

"Contrary to popular belief, Ostriches do not bury their heads in sand" [1]. I don't think we should either.

Regards,
Vladimir

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrich


Received on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:20:36 UTC

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