CSS3 Web Fonts

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Nermal, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    I'm curious about the legality behind "embedding" fonts using CSS3.

    If you upload the font to your server so that it can be used for rendering, then that could be piracy because anyone could then download that font and install it onto their own computer.

    On the other hand, since the browser doesn't install the font automatically, the user has to make a conscious decision to download and pirate the font if they want to use it.

    What's the story here? Unlike printed text, you need to have the font somewhere in order to see what the designer intended. But is there a legal issue if you "bury" the font file on your site?
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    It's not really any different than having copyrighted images on a site. The browsers must store the image in the cache on your hard drive, but that doesn't give the visitor any rights to it, and does not break any privacy issues.

    I don't know the details of the fonts being installed though, since cache is usually deleted after some time. Don't know if those installed fonts get un-installed at some later time, or even where they get installed (haven't tested it myself). I wouldn't mind learning more so hopefully someone will be able to elaborate.
     
  3. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #3
    In my testing with Safari 3.1, the font didn't get installed into the usual place, and was not available for use by other apps. It seems to use it only to render the page, and presumably discards in due course as part of the cache cycle.

    I don't recall whether I tested this on Mac or Windows.
     
  4. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #4
    This is a great topic as we designers eagerly await css3 support. It's an intriguing debate. I hope it is considered the same as img rendering from cache. If you have to start paying download royalties for fonts (i.e. by website visitors) or some-such, it won't be a good thing.

    I've heard caution that custom fonts will be the new flashing neon elements from the late 90's web. In the wrong hands it promises more ugly. But I guess that will just serve to help true designers' work to stand out even more.
     

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