W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2008

Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 11:57:39 -0600
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0811060957y731c1920r84d011b8c559cded@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Mikko Rantalainen" <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
On Thu, Nov 6, 2008 at 2:54 AM, Mikko Rantalainen <
mikko.rantalainen@peda.net> wrote:

> Thomas Phinney wrote:
> > 2) The folks who make the retail fonts want exactly the two kinds of
> > protections in question, which requirements are met by EOT and
> > apparently by the compromise proposal as well.
> Plain old TTF/OT fonts already have the same protection as any other
> content in the internet: the copyright law. It already protects HTML,
> XML, CSS, images and videos.
> Why do font foundries think that they deserve some special protection?
> Only because they *currently* do not license their fonts to be used
> without some special protection?
> I think the best solution is to go with plain TTF/OT fonts and bite the
> bullet. There are freely available fonts and if commercial font
> foundries do not want to license fonts to be used in the internet,
> that's their choice! They own those fonts, after all. I'm 100% sure that
> if browsers will support only plain TTF/OT fonts, the commercial font
> foundries will licence their fonts. It may take a year or two but that's
> their only choice if they want to remain in the business. Otherwise free
> fonts will be used more and more in the internet and sooner or later,
> the same progress will spread to paper documents (because the users have
> gotten accustomed to those fonts). Free fonts are not going away.
> Instead, more and more free fonts will emerge.
> I repeat: I see the *current licensing options* of commercial font
> foundries as the only reason for using EOT over plain TTF/OT files.
> That does not require a technological fix.

This is the most important point said so far, or at least the best telling
of it so far, imo.  We web authors want to use fonts.  This is a given.  We
love fancy fonts that alter the feel of a site.  All we need is an easy
mechanism to actually use them.

If plain TTF/OT font linking was supported today, we could get by with only
the free fonts.  It wouldn't be as good, but it would be adequate.  Fonts,
like all other digital media, will continue the standard trend of becoming
more and more free if we allow them to.  Let us embed fonts.  Let copyright
law sort out the people who are violating it.  A bit of obfuscation does
absolutely nothing for the "font pirate", but inconveniences us authors.
 This is the standard failing of DRM - it hurts the average user who *isn't*
violating copyright, while doing absolutely nothing to stop those who *are*.

Let us link free fonts.  Let us do it easily.  When free fonts are easily
usable on the web, they will increase.  They will multiply.  Everything will
be right and good with the world.

And we get to avoid handing the tools for further unnecessary lawsuits to a
new group of people, so that's always nice.  ^_^

Received on Thursday, 6 November 2008 21:22:56 UTC

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