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Re: question

From: Thomas Phinney <thomas.phinney@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2010 03:10:40 -0700
Message-Id: <643CBE6C-1CD2-443B-BF5A-75030000CB9C@gmail.com>
Cc: Thomas Phinney <tphinney@cal.berkeley.edu>, "www-font@w3.org" <www-font@w3.org>
To: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>
No, nobody assumes anything about who would have paid for implementing DRM for fonts. At least some browser vendors and open source advocates were quite outspoken in their anti-DRM   stance, and that discussion never spent much time on "what will it cost?" or "who's going to pay for it?"

Some measures that were not technically complicated or expensive to implement were simply rejected because folks deemed them as "wrong" as far as I could tell,

I certainly agree that a more complex and comprehensive DRM system for web fonts would have had substantial costs. I don't believe it was discussed enough to figure out if anyone, perhaps some coalition of font vendors, would pay for such a thing. I am quite sure that the availability of cash to pay for the costs of DRM implementation would not have made any difference for most of the folks who had a strongly anti-DRM stance.

Less clear to me is the nature of any implicit assumptions of the sort you suggest. I am reasonably sure that many font vendors would put a fairly high value on DRM. Most would lack the technical depth and/or financial resources to contribute to such a thing.

I don't intend any of this as a judgment call, btw. I was just hearing a summation of how we got to where we are today that didn't read quite right to me, at least not if one includes the font vendors involved in the discussion as part of "we."

Cheers,

T

On Oct 12, 2010, at 16:53, Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com> wrote:

>> From: www-font-request@w3.org [mailto:www-font-request@w3.org] On
>> 
>> "We" being the W3C and browser vendors. Of course many font designers
>> and vendors were very interested in some form of DRM (Digital Rights
>> Management). But ultimately it became clear that browsers weren't
>> going to ever implement anything that even smelled remotely like DRM
>> for fonts, and WOFF emerged as a compromise that delivered useful
>> things for everyone, even if it didn't come anywhere near meeting the
>> initial desires (DRM) of the folks designing and distributing
>> commercial fonts.
> 
> I'm not sure it was that simple. This version of the story assumes those 
> font vendors were willing, able and ready to pay for said DRM systems, 
> their deployment and proper management. Something that, imo, is quite unlikely 
> to be affordable to small foundries. (And maybe attractive to the larger
> ones for that reason ?)
> 
> Imo many font vendors who wanted DRM assumed that it would be reasonably
> effective and cost them very little i.e. browsers would do all the dirty 
> magic and voila ! 'Secure' fonts! All based on the implied assumption that 
> this limited burden would generally result in relatively higher revenue. 
> 
> Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I never noticed the discussion even getting
> into any kind of depth e.g. to answer the question: which DRM scheme ? If the 
> 'desired' solution is a bunch of foundry coalitions fighting it out through 
> incompatible DRM systems, good luck finding web authors to buy fonts. Even if
> there were only one such scheme, it would have to be able to work reliably 
> across browsers, operating systems and from smartphone to desktop. Even without 
> the politics, the technical challenge of designing, implementing and deploying
> such a protocol was orders of magnitude larger than specifying an encoding like 
> WOFF. 
> 
> Bottom line: yes, there was interest but very little understanding of what DRM
> meant and what it would have cost. Not just to browser vendors, but to font vendors.
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 10:11:51 UTC

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