Fontographer: Type by Design book

anonymous's picture

Hi folks, I have a copy of Stephen Moye's Fontographer: Type by Design. It's in pretty good shape, some bent corners and such. I think I'm ready to part with it. Anyone interested?

designalchemy's picture

I am interested in buying it. how much?

Stephen Coles's picture

What's up with that, Hrant? eBay?! Don't you
want the members of Typophile to benefit from
an exclusive offer? Poo on you!

Stephen

hrant's picture

An individual must see his society as being higher than himself, but other individuals higher still.

hhp

Jared Benson's picture

I agree, Stephen. Membership certainly should have its priveleges.

I've heard that they will not be republishing this book. When this occurs in the publishing industry, what do the laws state about distributing, say, PDF or digital versions of a book?

kentlew's picture

Jared --

Regardless of whether a publisher intends to keep a book in print or not, the rights to publish, adapt, and distribute a work are retained by the copyright holder (usually either the author or the publisher). This includes electronic forms.

There is an provision to the copyright law known as the "fair use" exception which allows for some copying without permission for cases of criticism, reporting, teaching, and scholarship. These exceptions, however, do not generally allow for the copying and distribution of an entire work.

So if you wanted to create and distribute a digital "reprint" of Moye's book, you'd need to get permission first.

-- Kent.

hrant's picture

A permission which Moye himself has been unable to get from the publisher!

hhp

Diner's picture

I had a discussion with a big wig at the publishing company that bought MIS Press. They have no intention of reprinting the book and they have no intention to allow permission to copy the books contents in any format even though a copy of the book cannot be located.

What's frustrating is that the book is very very good and as relevant today as it was when it was written due to Fontographer not seeing an update in lo these many years.

I wrote several e-mails to Stephen with no reply and I'm not sure if there is any way to share the fantastic information that is contained within this book. Any ideas? It's as good as you think it is.

Funny side note, I found a copy of the book on eBay right after as the auction ended and the seller was thrilled to get $15 for what he felt was "dry and bording"

Stuart :D

kentlew's picture

Hrant: I'm not saying it's fair. Jared just asked what the law says. I think the publisher is being short-sighted and will tarnish it's reputation with stubborn practices like this. Hopefully, Mr. Moye will negotiate a better contract next time.

Stuart: The information in the book is not copyrightable -- that is, the ideas are not protected, just the actual expression of them. You can share the same ideas in your own words with your own examples. Mr. Moye could re-express the same ideas in new ways and possibly publish a new book on the same topic (with another publisher, undoubtedly).

There is, of course, a gray area where new expression of old ideas and plagiarism meet. My point is, just because a bull-headed publisher refuses to reprint (which I can understand) or to give permission (which I can't necessarily agree with) doesn't mean that the information is lost or trapped.

Disclaimer: I'm not a copyright attorney, nor have I ever played one on TV.

-- K.

hrant's picture

> the seller was thrilled to get $15

The seller wasn't smart enough to advertise the sale properly.

----

WARNING: controversial opinion below.

> Any ideas?

In situations where the legal owner of the "property" is seen as sufficiently unreasonable, I would recommend taking guerilla action. For example, re-publish the work on a site of a political entity that doesn't have a copyright agreement with the US. Failing that, on a site of a country that does have a treaty, but also happens to have enough bigger problems that they would never come after you. This includes most countries on this planet.

The letter of the law must not be allowed to overpower decent behavior.

HOWEVER, you need to make sure that:
1. Your guerilla action is motivated by unreasonable behavior on their part, and not simply because you don't have the mettle to do things legitimately.
2. You make no material profit from the process.

hhp

hrant's picture

Hmmm, if you set up some kind of refundable-deposit thingie (which cascades from one person to the next), this might actually be a killer idea!

hhp

Diner's picture

I think that is a great idea Joe! It's the only way that content is going to be shared.

Ole, send Alan $20 plus shipping fees to you . . .

Alan send Ole the book when you get the cash . . .

Ole, read the book, post to the group when you're done reading it and continue the cycle charging $20 and shipping fees.

In ten years when we've all read it, Alan you can eBay it!

Stuart :D

Stephen Coles's picture

Sign me up. I've got a TBD for loan.

I'd like to see the Alphabook in the
pool as well. New thread?

Stephen

designalchemy's picture

I am interested in buying this book but I suppose it would be better for the community if it could be shared, so Stuart Sandler's idea of $20 plus shipping (read content and sell again to other typophiles) sounds best to me. I my experience, lending out books often ends in loss. This past year I have lost several amazing titles such as Tolleson Design's book, Why Not associates, DR's catalog for Murrey & Vern, Vaughn Olivers Visceral Pleasures, etc. An easy $300 worth. I do not do this anymore so selling and buying is where it is at for me.

anonymous's picture

Wow! You're all so fast to respond. I will be happy to offer it to someone here before turning to eBay; care to throw out an offer, Ole?

Alan

Joe Pemberton's picture

My altruistic (read unrealistic :-) suggestion:

We create a library-like situation where:

_ Users sign up to use the book for a set
period (one month, two months?). First come,
first served, of course.

_ Borrower agrees to pay for shipping to the next
person in line. (2nd day FedEx)

_ Borrowers agree to be blacklisted, stoned
and / or beaten if they betray the battalion of
people behind them in line.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Suppose there were 4 or 5 people with dusty
copies who are loathe to fully give them up. They
could make the book available on semi-permanent
loan to the type community and the pool of
beneficiaries would be that much greater.

hrant's picture

You will find a lot of buyers, some willing to pay a hefty sum.

Ergo: Put it up on eBay, and advertise the fact at as many type-related places possible.

hhp

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