Re: New work on fonts at W3C

On 22 Jun 2009, at 18:15, Levantovsky, Vladimir wrote:

> I believe the patent issues have already been resolved, see 
> .

I presume you are referring to this paragraph:

For avoidance of any doubt, Monotype Imaging agrees not to exercise  
its rights to apply limitations known as a "field of use restriction"  
if our technology is implemented as a part of a W3C Recommendation,  
and we are willing to work with any interested party, whether a W3C  
member or not, to make our IP available on a RF basis for the purpose  
of developing and prototyping the implementations of a future W3C  

Is it correct to understand that you are speaking as an official  
representative of Monotype Imaging at this point? On that assumption,  
I appreciate this statement of the company's intent, and the positive  
attitude that I believe lies behind it. Thank you.

To clarify further, when you say "agrees not to exercise its rights to  
apply limitations....", are you making a commitment that Monotype will  
offer a patent license free of any such restriction, or are you saying  
that although the W3C-compliant license to be offered may be limited,  
Monotype will not actually seek to enforce such limitations? IANAL,  
but as I'm trying to think about this, I see a critical distinction  
here. What I think we need is an explicit commitment to offer a patent  
license that is not only W3C-compliant but also GPL-compatible; is  
that what you are promising?

> When it comes to a derivative work where the only purpose is to rip  
> EOT font and install it as system font - I think we are all in  
> agreement that this is inevitable and patent will never prevent this.

True; regrettable, perhaps, but still inevitable.

> An efficient web font solution will benefit all web users and will  
> accommodate all fonts, whether commercial or free.

Indeed, and there are some attractive technical benefits to EOT, or  
something similar to it. If you can definitely confirm Monotype's  
commitment to offer a fully GPL-compatible patent license, ideally  
with at least draft text of such a potential license (so that others  
can independently evaluate the issue of license compatibility), then I  
think the chance of persuading non-MS browser developers to consider  
adding EOT support will be considerably improved.

> The solution that is *only* suitable for free fonts is not a good  
> solution.

Certainly. And even for free fonts, the compression possibilities of  
EOT could still be very worthwhile.

On the other hand, given that current (or very near-future) versions  
of all the main non-MS browsers will be supporting .ttf/.otf files  
(and not .eot files), perhaps foundries that are willing to license  
fonts for web use should consider John Daggett's recent suggestion,  
which as I understand it would work with today's browsers: create the  
desired "fences" simply by appropriate font naming. For example, the  
Monotype EULA that permits .eot use on a web server could also  
permit .otf use on a web server provided the font is internally  
renamed along the lines John suggested. That would (it seems to me)  
serve as a pretty clear "No Trespassing" sign, too, and would allow  
sites to be both IE-compatible and FF/Opera/...-compatible in their  
font deployment. Used in this way, direct linking to .otf files need  
not be suitable *only* for free fonts.


Received on Monday, 22 June 2009 19:22:26 UTC