Downloadable fonts thru Safari

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Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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>We’ll have this same discussion all over again if electronic paper ever goes mainstream.

I don't think we will, as the medium here is so closely related to PDF and eBooks and font-makers made up their minds and adjusted their EULAs in response to the eBook hype of a few years back.

In general most EULAs allow document embedding, the TrueType and OpenType specs have defined document embedding permissions for about 15+ years, and some vendors (Monotype I think led the trend) charge extra for document embedding rights if the document is being sold (like an eBook or eMagazine subscription).

Back to the original point, linking a raw font to a web page is not embedding, it's redistribution - disallowed by font EULAs.

TG's picture
TG
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Joined: 8 May 2003 - 2:39pm
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I played a little with ways not to use a publicly available font.

BTW: The good news is: OpenType CFF works as well!

Ralf

TG's picture
TG
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Joined: 8 May 2003 - 2:39pm
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Seems like Adobe has already a protection technology at the ready:
http://blogs.adobe.com/mars/2007/10/font_obfuscator_tool.html

Or don't we protection?
Interesting reading about music DRM:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/may/15/drm.apple?gusrc=rss&fee...

But what's the real effect of DRM? Last year, EMI began offering songs without it on iTunes. "The industry has finally been able to get some hard data about how removing DRM restrictions from legitimately purchased tracks affects piracy," says Bill Rosenplatt, DRM specialist and president of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. "The statistics show that there's no effect on piracy."

Tom Hodgins's picture
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Joined: 10 Mar 2008 - 9:36pm
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back to the original topic about safari and downloadable fonts:

This is progress. Having the capacity to use fonts this way in the web is not regress, it's progress. Yes, it's a tricky road filled with careful interpretation of typeface licences, but as it's been pointed out, not all typefaces are under restrictive licences.

Has anybody considered what widespread custom font rendering in the browser could mean for web-design (not amateur design, I mean real web design)

I have a really hard time telling people about browser-safe fonts and why their website has to look a little uglier than the photoshop mockup their nephew made.

Things like sIFR are great for headlines and subtitles, but imagine body copy in a decent typeface!

How will this change the landscape for font design too? will we begin to see a new form of fonts designed solely for screen, and maybe licenced as such as well? I mean print has a long-established history and there's $$ in print. Screen graphics needed typefaces as well, but the web is very very profitable too! It's only right that the web have fonts with special web-only features that can't be emulated in print to make the most of the freedom of the differing medium.

Personally, I'm excited anytime *any* typographic advances are made in the web camp. Text makes up 90% of the web, and until now it's been one of the most ignored things by developers.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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With ‘progress’ there are winners and losers.

The "better than nothing" argument has come up before. But realistically in return for Web designers getting legal access to at most a couple of hundred usable freeware fonts (along with a handful of licensed fonts form innovators such as Ralf) untold damage will be done to the majority of font creators who quite reasonably don't subscribe to letting their customers post their fonts unprotected on the Web.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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...Also Tom Phinney's survey is probably the only attempt to actually ask Web designers what they want. Ralf did a German-language survey. They're worth checking out.

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TG
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Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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For the record, Apple plugs security holes around font embedding ...

http://www.net-security.org/advisory.php?id=8939

ATS
CVE-ID: CVE-2008-1575
Available for: Mac OS X v10.5 through v10.5.2,
Mac OS X Server v10.5 through v10.5.2
Impact: Printing a PDF document containing a maliciously crafted
embedded font may lead to arbitrary code execution
Description: A memory corruption issue exists in the Apple Type
Services server's handling of embedded fonts in PDF files. Printing a
PDF document containing a maliciously crafted font may lead to
arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by
performing additional validation of embedded fonts. This issue does
not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit to Melissa O'Neill
of Harvey Mudd College for reporting this issue.

simonportergez's picture
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009 - 7:50am
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Just fyi, Apple has dropped another mega-patch to cover a total of 58 documented vulnerabilities affecting the Mac OS X ecosystem....

Regarding to embedded fonts:

ATS -- Multiple buffer overflows exist in Apple Type Services' handling of embedded fonts. Viewing or downloading a document containing a maliciously crafted embedded font may lead to arbitrary code execution

-----------
Simon - previaje

James Michaels's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2010 - 12:54am
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> I would prefer a system in which I don't
> have to get the lawyers involved

I'm just curious -- how common are lawsuits over font theft? I don't mean someone threatening to sue; I mean actual lawsuits.

My guess is that they are extremely rare due to the costs invovled, except in a few high-profile cases against defendants with deep pockets (like large corporations).

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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It's true that lawsuits are rare. There are also other enforcement actions we've seen, which have been known to affect design firms, printers and publishers. Usually not tiny, but definitely not only "large corporations." Also, if the fonts are being used for prominent clients, that can make a difference.

Still, if somebody is wondering what the chances are the "font police" will come down on them? Pretty small unless they really advertise their offences or make it really public somehow.

Recent examples where allegations of infringement have become fairly public: using a font in a logo for a national government campaign against internet piracy; using a font for logo and branding for an international courier/package delivery service; using a bunch of fonts for all sorts of purposes in advertising new shows and new seasons at a major television network....

Cheers,

T

Richard Fink's picture
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Joined: 25 May 2009 - 10:04pm
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@JamesM

On lawsuits, I've got nothing to add.
But thanks for dredging up this thread! - a revealing walk down memory lane.