[rumori] BOUNCE rumoriATdetritus.net: Non-member submission from [Hannah Mae <hannahATXtreme.com>] (fwd)

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Mon, 7 Feb 2000 08:25:27 -0800 (PST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 01:07:06 -0800 (PST)
From: Hannah Mae <hannahATXtreme.com>
To: rumoriATdetritus.net
Subject: [rumori] typeface copyrights

Weighing in a little late.... I asked the typography list I'm on about
typeface copyrights, and got two responses, one from a nice chap at

"www.typeright.org - if the parody contains a trademarked name eg. 'Arial
Ugly' or was created by medling with the orginal font in Fontographer then
Monotype have grounds to complain.

Recently one fellow asked me to list his foundry on my links page - when I
told him I don't list knock-font sites he swore that his fonts were all
drawn from scratch and even offered to show me his original drawings - I
loaded one of his fonts into an editor and although all the copyright info
had been sucessfully stripped out the font still included Monotype's
unique vendor ID code."

And one from a type designer:

"<http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/> BitLaw

<http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/> US Copyright Office

<http://www.typeright.org/> TypeRight

<http://www.clari.net/brad/copymyths.html> A primer for beginners

Obviously, anyone trying to figure copyright on their own is in for many
surprises. Find an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer instead of taking the
word of netniks. But, in the US, typeface software --- that is, fonts ---
have been found in court to be protectable expressions of creative
decisions. It is the software, which is classed as a litereary work, that
is protected. The aspect of the design, that is, the shapes of the letters
produced by the software, is still, in the U.S., unsettled.

Please realize that many software typeface fonts are also protected by
design patent, which -does- cover the shapes produced by the software;
there's double protection for these fonts.

With regard to international copyright, look to the Berne Convention; the
U.S. is a signator of this, as is most of the civilized world (it could be
argued that agreeing to the Berne Convention is a prerequisite to being
considered civilized, anyway :-). The various protections offered to
typefaces as software and as design vary, but are often even stronger than
the U.S. protections.

Part of the Berne Convention's um, thingies is that there can be
reciprocity between countries in terms of protections, so that the
protection offered in one country should be offered in another."

Note that both these folks come down squarely on the pro-copyright side of
the line, being part of the very small population which is actually hurt
by digital piracy (and I have to say I sympathize - Adobe ain't gonna miss
the $650 I didn't give them for my copy of photoshop, but it's awful lame
to pirate a $40 font from a teensy type foundry...).

Most of the typo list's collective experience with typeface copyright has
been in regards to clearcut cases of straight up piracy - somebody
redistributing an entire font, completely unchanged. I wonder how parody
enters into this...?


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