Re: New work on fonts at W3C

> What the commercial font vendors want is not really a technical measure
> to completely prevent others to obtain the font file and re-use it (in
> other web contexts or in different media). In most cases, they do not
> want an impenetrable wall. Much rather do they want some simple way to
> put a fence around their property and put a label on it that says "no
> tresspassing". Jumping the fence is doable. The fence is a psychological
> and legal barrier, rather than a viable technical one.
> Simply speaking: commercial font vendors do not want that any user grabs
> their font from a website that uses it, downloads it and uses it for his
> own purpose (install on his desktop system and use it in a text
> processing application such as Word, or graphic design application such
> as InDesign or Photoshop). Commercial font vendors would prefer if
> desktop fonts stayed desktop fonts, and web fonts stayed web fonts.
> Also, commercial font vendors would like to be able to put a label into
> a web font that says "this font belongs to this website". Nothing more.

You don't need a new format to do these two things, you can do this by tweaking the contents of the name table in TrueType/OpenType fonts:

1) Make the family name "No Tresspassing" and the style name " for web use only" in for all web fonts.  Better yet, put in a GUID string based on the purchaser/site.

2) Change the contents of the license record to say "This font licensed to xxx by yyy for use on site zzz.  All other use restricted and governed by the terms below.  For more information on this excellent font please visit"

3) Include a sample @font-face definition in a text file that defines the set of font faces and their associated style attributes (i.e. not the obfuscated style names above).

That seems to satisfy your requirements; "normal" use in desktop applications will not be possible and the font data will be clearly marked as being associated with a given site in the license metadata.


John Daggett
Mozilla Japan

Received on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 23:41:54 UTC