Re: [rumori] BOUNCE Non-member submission from [Hannah Mae <>] (fwd)

Andrew Lander (
Thu, 10 Feb 2000 07:12:46 PST

>From: Hannah Mae <>
>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
>" - 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.

That's what I did, and it was patently (pun intended) obvious. I said in
the text file it was "based" on Times New Roman, so I placed it, as I think
was only fair, in the public domain. Obviously that was not enough for
Monotype! Maybe they thought the name was trademark dilution...

I really must wonder if they really did have their typographers (plural)
investigate. It should've taken one of them about a minute.

>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."

I cut and pasted outlines from Times New Roman into a new font one at a
time, rotating, flipping, and displacing them into new character slots, eg.
the "b" being a flipped "d," the "e" being an upside down "a" and vice
versa, the "h" being a flipped "y" and vice versa, etc. etc. (Anyone who
has the font can of course tell all this just by looking at it.)

>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...).

One of the reasons I chose Times New Roman is that it's one of the three
probably most common fonts in the world (all of being them Monotype fonts).
I have a thing against manipulating the work of individual font artists and
foundries (unless it's just to get a font to work better on my own system).
And when I find I have a ripoff font I delete it and install the original.

I currently have two other fonts on my system that I downloaded elsewhere,
Timesturn and Sick Times, that are also derivative of Times New Roman (Watch
out Sander and Vlad!). Times New Roman as a font itself was derived from
Times Roman (as were a couple of other fonts), which is a typeface and not a
copyrighted font. I may eventually make a Version 3.0, based on scans from
old books and newspapers and not Monotype's copyrighted font data. But of
course typefaces themselves may be copyrightable soon.

>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...?

Times Screwed Roman was an experiment, or, as I called it in the text file,
"a backhanded tribute." Is that a synonym for "parody?" Though the
displacement of the letters could be considered an aesthetic commentary of
sorts on the similarities and differences between letters and the shapes of
serifs, etc.

Either way they'd never take me to court to decide the matter. No money in
it for them, and in the font world they just contact your server and your
page gets deleted.

On a related tangent, I recently was struck with the similarity of the
alleged Monotype paralegal's name, "Ann Libner," with my own. I replied to
"Ms. Libner" informing her that the font was down and have recieved neither
a reply nor a "that e-mail address doesn't exist" notice. I'm wondering if
"she" is one of those font-copyright-vigilante lawyer-impostors. (If so,
then the name may make a good neoesque pseudonym.)

Andrew Lander
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