A CHEATER?

Curioustype's picture

The proprietor of the site parachute.gr has in a different forum complained about TTF versions of his fonts being hacked and said to one member that he'd appreciate it if that member would buy his fonts instead of obtaining them in some unethical way.

However, perhaps someone can visit this page:

http://www.parachute.gr/fonts.aspx?Sample=1&FontStyleID=&FontFamilyID=53...

and tell me how the font "Muse" could not be so blatantly ripped off from Jos Buivenga's "Delicious." Which can clearly be seen in the lower case f, g, c, and s, and certainly seen in the remainder of the lower case letters. For that matter, with the exception of a few minor tweaks and added "serifs," the outlines are virtually identical.

Shameful.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Open source does not mean ’do what you want and resell it’.

It seems to, at least in this case...

http://dejavu.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/License

... where the base fonts even contained a (c) Bitstream notice. The red flag should have been that legitimate open source software would come with at least some form of license? I assume by definition public domain software doesn't/shouldn't have a license?

Jos Buivenga's picture

I assume by definition public domain software doesn’t/shouldn’t have a license?

Is that irony?

+++

In addition to aluminium: freeware also doesn't mean that you can take the font and make it your own. There was a copyright notice in the font file clearly stating my name. Just a simple google on "jos buivenga" would have brought Vangelis more than enough results to trace me. In fact he only had to click the first search result for a possibility to contact me. I think that if one makes a font using another font as base, one should at least have the courtesy to contact the original designer. btw ... If he had, I would never have giving permission, but that's another story.

As Chris comment wisely stated: we are all brothers in this craft. My "humble response" can only be credited to all the efforts my fellow typophiles put into their elaborate, wise (and sometimes a little bit too fierce) comments. I'm not angry at all, regarding everything I can only hope for a proper solution, but neither Vangelis nor Parachute have contacted me at this moment.

Curioustype's picture

Hold on just a minute there, Charis. I think you just burned my butter.

"And all these without knowing facts, persons, companies etc."

Let me be extremely clear about this, so there are no misunderstandings. In this situation, I know the only two facts anyone needs to know.

First, Muse is not "influenced" by Delicious, it IS Delicious. I don't believe I'm alone here in identifying Muse as a virtual point-for-point recreation. There is a tremendous difference between "influenced" and "copied," be it professional, ethical or otherwise. Please do not continue to insult my intelligence by claiming anything else. George Thorogood was "influenced" by Jimi Hendrix - he didn't pillage through all of Hendrix's unreleased material and release an expensive album with songs he claimed were only "influenced" by Hendrix. I find it nothing short of disgusting you would even make such a suggestion.

And second, the real shame here is I had to be the one to tell Jos (indirectly) about this theft, when HE should've been proudly telling all of US about the new release on which he collaborated with the Parachute studio. Charis, say what you like. I will never believe that among the designer, the studio and whoever else came and went in between, the designer and an insignificant weenie like me in Lakeland, Florida were the only ones who had any clue about the story behind this font.

Beyond those facts, nothing else really matters. We're not talking about events taking place in a compact, three-day stretch, that involved an honest mistake and how you interpret the meaning of "influence." There is very little black and white here. Black and white exists when a few numbers and key lower-case letters like a or g share some striking visual similarities. Not when virtually every single letter is an exact duplicate.

People seem to like quotes here, so let me throw mine in the ring, which I believe has some applicability:

"Almost all our faults are more pardonable than the methods we employ to hide them" - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

aluminum's picture

"It seems to, at least in this case..."

No, the license says that...not the fact that they happen to be open source. I'm not even sure they are open source. No where in that license does it state as such.

So, if one can't find a license one shouldn't a) assume it is open source by default and b) even if they do that, assume the specific license grants them the right to sell copies of it.

Si_Daniels's picture

I'll drink to that!

vank's picture

I thought it would be ethically correct to withdraw the font due to the visual similarities of the two fonts, and not for any other reason since point-by-point the fonts are simply not the same.

I spoke on influences on Syntax and Meta, not source files; blame me, if i did not clear out enough.

I like freeware software, i appreciate Open source software, and i respect people who participate in such offerings to the masses. This has been the very reason I myself have participated in open source font-project in the near past. Furthermore, once again, accept it or not, it is a fact that this freeware font was misconceived as an open-source font.

I have already contacted Jos. I am also sorry i involved Parachute in this matter. I hope this ends here.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Perhaps one thing to take away from this situation is to "ask first". Whether a EULA comes attached to a font or not I think assuming any sort of rights of protection or use, especially in cases of commerce, is never good or safe.

I think we, Typophile, are above how low some of the blows were in this thread. It isn't a question of what is right or deserved. It is good to see we stand up for each other, that in and of itself isn't a bad thing. Vank has come forward, hopefully Parachute will respond to Jos (here or otherwise, it isn't up to us).

Curioustype's picture

"since point-by-point the fonts are simply not the same"

And my aunt's an uncle.

Nudging one or two points every other character just to be able to claim a difference in the font is almost more offensive than simply leaving the entire font intact. So in the places where the fonts ARE different - other than the upper-case "R" and other such obvious alterations - are you saying that Jos' Delicious was "just off by an em unit or two" here and there? You must since you've identified the font as an "influence" and thus, obviously would rather improve on - than diminish - the appeal of the font. Jos, I guess you need to tighten up a little there, buddy.

Also, help me understand something here, Vank. You wrote:

"... I myself have participated in open source font-project in the near past [yet] this freeware font was misconceived as an open-source font."

Open source, if I'm not mistaken, is a collaborative effort that, for lack of a better description, involves tons of creators and designers who all still pretty much know the two or three places everyone congregates online to exchange and interact. Also to the best of my knowledge, a large percentage of open source material can be freely downloaded or perused on two or three main sites (not counting ftp sites from which one can download the downloads).

I am making no accusations here. However, as you yourself participated in the open source font project, I would think you far better than most would be among those less-likely to be prone to such "misconceptions."

Vank, part of the point here too is cut and dry as the rest: there is little room for "misconception" under these circumstances. If indeed that was a consideration of yours, you don't hope, assume, or even rely on your certainty. You find out. Then you double find out. And you do what you have to do until the possibility of misconception no longer exists. These are not strict guidlines, or my rules, etc. For one thing, it's known in its most primitive form as "respect." However, this approach exists in many forms on many levels beyond mere respect.

Vank, whether you realize it or not you essentially decided early on it would be better to seek forgiveness than permission. Yes, you are correct - they aren't EXACTLY the same fonts, and Delicious is a free font notwithstanding the copyright spider web. Perhaps now you could explain how either of those facts mitigates any of the damage resulting from this, if any? Are you really going to stand behind a claim such as "I've tried to be apologetic and express remorse, but you know, it WAS a free font so tough sh**?"

I admire your guts to appear here, believe me - however, you still seem a bit recalcitrant. I would imagine you hope it ends here. Unfortunately I think your voting privileges might have been placed on hold.

AndrewSipe's picture

Chris, you can call off the dogs. I believe Vagelis is making an attempt to rectify things between him and Jos. He didn't need to add anything to this discussion, but he did. As for the details outside of this discussion, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. He made a mistake and has admitted it, no need to run him up the pole any further.

This has been an eye-opening discussion, and hopefully it's message will carry on.

Curioustype's picture

"Chris, you can call off the dogs."

you're right. thanks for the slap in the face ... i was starting to get tunnel vision,

aluminum's picture

"it is a fact that this freeware font was misconceived as an open-source font."

I'm not sure the connection there. What does misconceiving it as open source have to do with reselling a derivative of it?

Curioustype's picture

"I’m not sure the connection there. What does misconceiving it as open source have to do with reselling a derivative of it?"

Not certain, but I do know open source material is in effect like one big giant universal collaboration on various programs, fonts, etc., and exists in a world where the concept of copyrights causes nasty, painful skin and brain irritations to those involved. As for making profit from material derived from an open source project ... I can't really quantify the morality of that without more thorough knowledge of all the factors involved. I imagine if you can take a program born under the open source idea, make dramatic improvements to it and sell a finished project that hardly resembles the original software, you'd make it as far as engaging in questionable conduct. In my eyes only mind you. Now we really are talking about some grey area.

The kicker here was that not only did Muse's designer not make absolutely certain the font originated as open source, he didn't even bother to contact the original designer - whose identity must have been known to him - to find out.

That has been one of my points all along - this is nightmarish on all kinds of levels and not just a debate on an isolated oversight.

Wait ... doggone it. Sorry about that Andrew. Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

loremipsum's picture

>can someone please take Bank Gothic and make a revival that FIXES all the hideous mistakes Morris made back at the turn of the 20th century?

Or here you go:

http://www.dilworthtypographics.com/portfolio.php?spec=bridge%20gothic

AndrewSipe's picture

Or here you go:

http://www.dilworthtypographics.com/portfolio.php?spec=bridge%20gothic

The R is still hideous, but it's a much better version than the original!

Jos Buivenga's picture

+++NEWS+++BREAK+++

Vangelis and I have settled this matter for once and for all in a fair way.
I'm sorry I can't give you more details about it.

I've learned a wise lesson form this and as far as I'm concerned Muse can be put back online ... but that's up to Vangelis now.

I do want to thank Curious Christopher for spotting this, all typophiles for their generous support and I like to conclude this with the words Tiffany posted:
"I think we, Typophile, are above how low some of the blows were in this thread. It isn’t a question of what is right or deserved. It is good to see we stand up for each other, that in and of itself isn’t a bad thing."

aluminum's picture

"I do know open source material is in effect like one big giant universal collaboration on various programs, fonts, etc., and exists in a world where the concept of copyrights causes nasty, painful skin and brain irritations to those involved."

Open Source simply means the Source Code is openly available. You can look at it. You can change it for your own use. Ideally, the license allows you to contribute back.

That's it. That's the basic definition.

Beyond that, like ANY IP, the specific license can change/add/subtract all sorts of rights/restrictions/benefits and the like.

I think too many folks in this thread are confusing 'open source' with 'public domain'.

"The kicker here was that not only did Muse’s designer not make absolutely certain the font originated as open source"

IMHO, the kicker is that he assumed it was open source...when the open source definition make NO STATEMENT WHAT SO EVER that one can freely modify and resell it. ;o)

Si_Daniels's picture

Amen

Curioustype's picture

Well congratulations to Jos, props to Vangelis and good night to John Boy. It is unfortunate that an issue much in need of debate/discussion had to involve actual people and events. As for low blows or being above some of the things appearing in this thread, sometimes making an omelete requires cracking a few skulls. And if Jos consents to the font being sold as is on the Parachute site, I wouldn't object one bit to seeing this entire thread removed permanently. The discipline was my first concern; Jos being intruded upon was my second, and the personal offense I took coming in third. In the end, lessons were learned, foundations were reassessed and Jos seems happy. My own personal offense and what the studio knew and when it knew it are not in need of reconciliation.

Wait .... cracking a few EGGS. My bad.

AGL's picture

Thanks Jos, for the Fonts!

loremipsum's picture

>can someone please take Bank Gothic and make a revival that FIXES all the hideous mistakes Morris made back at the turn of the 20th century?

Another new one here:

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/alphabetsoup/bank-gothic-as/regular/

Jos Buivenga's picture

As for low blows or being above some of the things appearing in this thread, sometimes making an omelete requires cracking a few skulls

I guess you're right. Thanks to all the cracking this thread probably did resolve this thing. I didn't meant to be moralistic citing Tiffany. I just thought these words were appropriate to more or less conclude this topic.

Thanks Jos, for the Fonts!

You're very welcome!

Ray Larabie's picture

It's not the first time there's been a plagiarism dogpile on this site. Point piracy is one thing. Designers know whether of not they've drawn points or copied them. Before you publicly accuse someone of plagiarism, contact them first becuase there may be a rational explanation.

About 10 years ago, a client(pro-bono) sent me scans of lettering in a 1960s high-school yearbook drawn by an anonymous illustrator. A few years later, I received an irate email from someone who designed a similar font in the mid 1990s. When I saw the font in question it was obvious that my client had tricked me. I underestimated how low people can sink to save $50. I apologized to the designer, removed the font from my site and asked about 50 of the most popular freeware sites to remove it. I am thankful that they contacted me first rather than raking me across the Typophile coals.

In 2001, a client commissioned me to create a font (based on Zero Hour) which I ended up calling Xirod. The client had very specific requirements and even required me to sign a contract to ensure that it would be released as freeware. I thought it was a strange request but the idea seemed original to me. After I released it, I noticed a similar free font called Battlefield. Luckily I didn't go with all of the clients recommendations so it didn't turn out exactly the same . . . but it easily could have.

When fonts are commissioned by a client, they often have very specific requests. On two other occasions, partway through a project, I caught on to the ruse and convinced the client to take the project in a different direction.

Sometimes designers are inspired by the same "classic" fonts that I am and accuse me of stealing their ideas. I won't embarrass anyone by citing examples here. Many font designers have the same old metal type specimen books in their bookcase that I have.

Yeah, I publicly pointed out Intellecta's point theft of one of my discontinued freeware fonts, but what we're looking at here isn't clearly point theft. Before you going to publicly accuse, make absolutely sure you're right.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Before you publicly accuse someone of plagiarism, contact them first becuase there may be a rational explanation.

This might be a good policy to enshrine on the Typophile code of conduct. I constantly worry when I see threads like this that typophile might get shuttered due to some over-zealous designer sending their lawyers after Jared and Joe :-(

Curioustype's picture

"but what we’re looking at here isn’t clearly point theft. Before you going (sic) to publicly accuse, make absolutely sure you’re right."

Wow, I'm particularly surprised by this statement, considering the author. Unlike the designer/studio, neither of which made sure they were right about Delicious being an open-source font, I am going to second Jos' sentiment here and state I don't need to see the points before being able to identify them as copied.

However, if some feel that observation doesn't carry enough substance to vocalize an all-out accusation ... or if some feel - as you seem to - that Muse and Delicious do not share enough similarities to constitute "piracy" or whatever, all I can say is this:

1.) Eventually the designer of Muse himself came on here and admitted being "influenced" by Delicious, which verifies the connection at the very least.

2.) Jos, the designer of Delicious, saw his font in "Muse" almost instantly ... kind of like a father or mother could pick their child's voice out of a party crowd or verify it sight unseen.

3.) I know there were a few visual examples posted above, which are quite compelling - but in my opinion not even the best representations of what's taken place here. Off the top of my head I can think of virtually exact duplicates also existing in the lower-case b, c, d, f, p, q, s, v, w, x, y and z. The numbers are nearly indistinguishable. Even the upper case "P" isn't "land-locked" to borrow from one of my own terms to describe the unclosed-look.

And finally, I think one of Delicious's most impressive features is it isn't what I'd call cookie-cutter, despite being a clean, solid sans. There are subtle, unique features all over that font unlike any other sans I've seen. I'm not comparing Jos's achievement to the parting of the Red Sea by any means ... all I'm saying is, the uniqueness of Delicious - in addition to being evident upon closer look - also made these similarities that much easier to identify. A sans serif font almost inherently restrains a designer from the start, but with Delicious, Jos still managed to give the font its own distinctive appearance (i.e., the lower-case e, f, v, w, etc.) and made what the outlines dictate should look like a pure square-sans into something artistic and in primitive terms, curvy.

Every now and then when I quickly glance at Delicious it reminds me of Quadraat Headliner, but only for a moment. I don't think I spent a single moment looking at Muse without immediately tying it to Delicious.

dezcom's picture

"I just thought these words were appropriate to more or less conclude this topic."

I think Jos said it best above and implied that we should all now move on and let this thread end.

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

Speaking abstractly, not specifically about this thread.

> Before you publicly accuse someone of plagiarism, contact them first becuase there may be a rational explanation.

I'll third that. As a moderator I wonder about threads like this all the time. It doesn't help that I've actually received email from lawyers and designers before either. As I've mentioned, standing up for each other is great, but it easily crosses a line without anyone have those intentions to begin with. From now on please email the designer off-list. Let the designer do what they think is best. (Which would include, I hope, contacting the people in question, not running to start a thread.) Then perhaps once it has been settled you can, if you still wish, start a thread here in an effort to keep education running.

Ray Larabie's picture

> Wow, I’m particularly surprised by this statement, considering the author.

Nice. What you're getting at?

Ray Larabie's picture

That point I made about point theft vs. plagiarism makes no sense. Please disregard. And I'm not saying I haven't accused someone of the same thing. I regret doing it. I've been accused and an accuser and I can see that it's not a good way to go.

Curioustype's picture

"Nice. What you’re getting at?"

Well, I know you created thousands of free fonts for some time before throwing your hat in the pay-font ring, and have set a robust pace when producing those. That said, regardless of what anyone's opinion is on their appeal - and more on that in a second - I doubt there are many people who've either had their hands on or looked at up close the thousands upon thousands of fonts you have. That's why I was surprised to read what you wrote about the level of originality in Muse. I kinda got the impression you didn't believe they were all that similar. I get scared when I hear things like that coming from people like you because my immediate reflex/impulse is to immediately second-guess myself and pray like mad I'm not some unfortunate version of the emperor in his new clothes here.

That would be under ordinary circumstances. In this case, however, the similarities have been well-quantified, identified, and crucified.

As for allowing two designers to work out things like this in their own little corner of the courtyard - or believing it to be the most diplomatic dove approach, all that does is lay the benefit right back in the lap of those perhaps least deserving of it. Perhaps the coals could have been turned down a bit, agreed - still, I can't imagine feeling all that guilty about forgetting to bake the Parachute entity a cake. I strongly believe people are overlooking two crucial points here - first, this thread has not been 100-percent ground-breaking the entire time, so doing anything but engaging in such dialogue would amount to nothing more than complicity. And second, much has been said about Paragraph's failure to recognize the problem before releasing the font, which many here seem all-too-willing to forgive for the sake of peace.

As would I - if not for the fact that some Paragraph personnel have on this very site defended the originality of their work if not take outright offense when anyone even hints at suggesting otherwise. And in rather eloquent text that was anything but self-effacing. I therefore strongly disagree - I believe the energy and consideration the subject matter generates has in my mind been healthy. As long as this issue awaits an ethical, everybody's happy conclusion, it should continue.

However, I do agree it has run its course and as I've said earlier, probably a good candidate for total deletion. When it was unresolved and still being hotly debated, ending it would've been the worst thing to do since it would relieved those responsible of any sense of urgency to correct it. I believe it has been, and from THIS point forward any damage Parachute might incur would be arguably underserved. Still there's a little voice in me that keeps echoing a basic philosophy ... we all end up being held accountable for what we do and produce, which isn't abusive to us or even something we can piss and moan about before trying to outrun it.

To suggest a single person here might be in any way to blame for clouds that form over Parachute because of this would be a misguided attribution.

Curioustype's picture

Oh and about the appeal of Typodermic fonts: regardless of what anyone thinks of Mr. Larabie's production pace one way or the other, he's certainly accomplished one thing: I probably like as many fonts appearing on his site as I do any other single site on the web, short of our current handful of massive empires. For my taste, the first thought that enters my head when looking at Gnoulane is Bureau Grotesque 31. But there also are fonts all over his site that I appreciate for a number of reasons.

I really do find interesting the approach to typography taken by both Mr. Larabie and Jos Buivenga; Jos offers wonderful fonts for free, but since so many people rain down on his site on a regular basis, he either does or logically could generate revenue that way. Mr. Larabie on the other hand has literally created something for just about everyone regardless of his or her taste and I know recently was among the top sellers of new fonts at my fonts.com. I see absolutely nothing wrong with either approach, or the one in which a typographer all but identifies him or herself by one or two iconic mega-families. I even have my own personal little approach to the strategy of font production, a bit different from those above.

My approach is to try and retain as much sanity as possible while the cerebral contractions of having just one type baby reduce my core to runny fried eggs. And when ready, try to minimize the number of times I keep trying to cram that baby right back in where it came from until its perfectly incubated. It has its own sort of efficiency in a way, and still needs a little work.

Curioustype's picture

Help me, Asvetic, help me! I beg you!

AndrewSipe's picture

Help me, Asvetic, help me! I beg you!

Chris, drop the mouse and step away from the computer.

Curioustype's picture

Whew, thanks. To refer back to an earlier mention of the movie Airplane, I was beginning to feel like that woman who was going nuts while this long line of people was waiting to smack her in the face. Or shoot her. Thanks for the anchor. And yes, I think this dog needs to be put down.

michielterpelle's picture

Is this one added to: You thought we shouldn't notice! ;)

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