I am developing a vector-based graphic-design application using a cloud-computing model, where the GUI and a part of the processing happens on the client browser, but the more complex part happens on a server.
A user – say, a designer – may have a license for a font – say, a desktop license – and they may want to use the font in their design. (This is different from fonts that may be embedded in the application and are available for every user.) Adobe Illustrator, for example, can read the locally installed fonts and use them to generate a vector representation in its own format. In the client-server model, however, the font needs to be processed on the server. This requires a transient copy and a cache of the font to exist on the serve.
I am not sure how this affects licensing and copyright. Here are few more specific implementation scenarios, I wonder how they affect licensing and copyright:
Possibility one: The font file is transferred from the client to the server, where it is processed and a vector representation of any text is embedded (as paths, for example) in the graphic. The font file is discarded. (This possibility is not optimal, because browser computation is sandboxes, and thus the transfer of the file demands action by the user, such as upload).
Possibility two: A large database of common font-faces, already processed in the needed format, is kept on the server (the actual font files need not be kept) and they are used only for clients that are licensed to have them and have them installed on their system for browser rendering.
Possibility three: The designer wants to use some free-for-them font from an external source, such as http://www.1001fonts.com/ However, they do not want to install it on their computer. Instead, the font gets temporarily download to the server, gets processed (as above) and gets embedded in the page request for the duration of the session, for use in the GUI. The issue here is that many “free” fonts have embedding restrictions.
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