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Re: WOFF can't be used offline (claim)

From: Jonathan Kew <jfkthame@googlemail.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:47:06 +0000
Message-ID: <5280A79A.9060809@gmail.com>
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
CC: www-font@w3.org, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
On 11/11/13 04:15, Chris Lilley wrote:
> Hello Www-font,
>
> Spotted recently:
>
> "Which means that fonts in the WOFF format, even free ones, cannot
> be used offline.
>
> Free fonts in the WOFF format may thus have to be converted to
> OpenType prior to packaging. "
> http://www.w3.org/Style/2013/paged-media-tasks#embedded-fonts
>
> I'm wondering how that conclusion is arrived at; not clear it is
> correct.
>

This seems mistaken, IMO. I'm cc'ing Bert Bos, as author of that document.

Whether a WOFF font may be used in any particular way - whether online 
or offline - is dependent on the license granted by the owner of the 
font. Just like for any other font format. It has nothing to do with 
HTTP headers. AFAIK, there's no mention of same-origin restrictions in 
the WOFF spec[1], except in the Changes appendix, which notes that it 
was removed.

The default same-origin restriction that applies to CSS @font-face[2] 
when used on the web is independent of the font format being served. It 
applies equally to ALL fonts referenced through @font-face, not only to 
WOFF-packaged fonts.

(I don't believe all user agents currently implement this as described 
in the spec, but that's simply a bug in those UAs.)

Same-origin restrictions may be helpful in discouraging casual "abuse" 
of fonts in an unlicensed manner, and CORS is the tool that helps 
authors to manage this. But it doesn't trump the actual license under 
which the font is deployed. And same-origin restrictions may be used for 
purposes entirely unrelated to licensing; a site that uses 
freely-licensed fonts might still want to prevent third-party sites 
"leaching" bandwidth by linking to the fonts, even though there'd be no 
licensing barrier to this.

JK

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WOFF/
[2] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css-fonts/#font-fetching-requirements
Received on Monday, 11 November 2013 09:47:35 UTC

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