Re: New work on fonts at W3C

On Jun 22, 2009, at 12:48 PM, Thomas Lord wrote:

> On Mon, 2009-06-22 at 11:16 -0700, Brad Kemper wrote:
>> It doesn't seem at all necessary for fonts, since that licensing info
>> can be inserted into existing fonts in other ways without requiring
>> changes to how the UA works, or to the standard.
> There are three problems with that.
> First, I'm not sure it's true.  I could be mistaken but
> I didn't think it was possible include in a font file,
> for example, a marked-up copy of (just for example) the
> GPL.

I think that would be overkill. A simple statement could indicate who  
licensed from whom, what sites were included, and where on the Web  
further details could be found. John Daggett suggested this type of  
thing could be put into the contents of "the license record" of the  

> Second, what the UA does actually matters.  If something
> like a marked-up copy of the license is present, the idea
> is that the UA makes it available to users for viewing.
> It's not DRM but DRA - Digital Rights Assistance - the idea
> of keeping users free of bogus restrictions but informed
> about the materials they are using.

That's fine with me, if doing a "Get Info" or "Properties" of the page  
reveals more about the license. It could get that info from the  
license record in the font. You could go even further and use the  
information there to tell the server how to set the access control  
headers on the file.

> Third, if every format (font, image file, music file, etc.)
> adopts a separate way to include a marked-up license then
> the burden on browser implementers grows linearly with the
> number of media formats supported.   A generic wrapper, though,
> has "O(1)" implementation complexity - one piece of code can
> handle all those media types.

CORS is already 90% there without a wrapper, it seems to me. I see  
CORS and the Web server as being the main mechanism, and info  
contained in the file as being a handy way to transfer info from the  
font to the server. If you wanted to restrict what sites could display  
your images, you would do that in the server CORS settings panel, with  
no need of a wrapper.

>> If you wanted that information to actual convey to the server some
>> info on how to restrict access,
> Not at all.  This information is strictly for consumption
> by users.  It is informative, not normative.  ("About this image",
> "About this font", etc.)

I disagree that it can only inform a human and not a server.

Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 07:02:02 UTC