Another Rip-off foundry?

ralf h.'s picture

In August 2008 someone from Brest, France bought my font Logotypia Pro from MyFonts:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fdi/logotypia-pro/

That same person is also registered for the website of a type foundry from Brest, France:
http://www.gasoligne.com/

One month after the purchase a new font is released at this foundry:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/gasoligne/urqinoa/

Every glyph was modified more or less, but looking at the character map there is no doubt, that this font is directly based on the digital data of my font Logotypia Pro. They even kept all my beginner's mistakes from 2004.

Here is an overlay of both fonts:

So, if you are a typedesigner, please have a look at their current and future designs to check if one of your fonts was also ripped off.

Goran Soderstrom's picture

Havent compared the two, but it sounds really terrible. Have you contacted them?

dezcom's picture

That is disgraceful! I hope you can light a fire under their gasoline with a law suit.

ChrisL

plainclothes's picture

keep in mind that these modifications result in substandard typefaces. just compare Aura to Korsen -- where did that ‘y’ come from!? people who will be enticed by these poor pieces of work are probably not in the market for quality typefaces anyway. no excuse for the company's behavior, but hopefully some consolation.

Jens Kutilek's picture

Their "Abalys" typeface is Frutiger with some corners rounded, right?

dezcom's picture

I would like to see their corners rounded alright!

ChrisL

aluminum's picture

I could MAYBE see them taking it verbatim to resell for a quick buck, but they actually took the time to modify each letter? That is just dumb. Then again, criminals were never really the smartest in general.

David Ford's picture

I don't know if this is true or not, I've never had to check. But at college I was told if you modify a typeface by at least 20% then its considered original (in the law's eyes). Which in this case would explain why they took the time to modify each letter - to not break copyright laws (although its still a blatant and shocking rip-off).

aluminum's picture

There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the legalities of derivative work. It's often up to the eyes of the beholder, offender, judge, and, of course, the lawyers that are paid the most.

Si_Daniels's picture

>if you modify a typeface by at least 20%

Even if that's accurate it would relate to redrawing, not opening up in FontLab and moving a few points (AKA SSI).

AGL's picture

Il n'est pas bon gar.

Ray Larabie's picture

Gone.
www.gasoligne.com
Latecomers to this thread can see the fonts at Identifont.

Uli's picture

Much to my surprise, Myfonts alias Bitstream removed the forgeries:

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/gasoligne/urqinoa/

The is astonishing, because the Bitstream outfit sells thousands of forgeries, besides its own forgeries made by David Berlow, Matthew Carter, Mike Parker and the other rip-off experts who forged the Linotype fonts described in http://www.forgers.de/bitstream2.pdf.

For historians of font forgeries, I append a few statements about this Gasoligne font forging outfit from the shut-down website:

Legal Notices:

GASOLIGNE TYPOFONDERIE
SARL GASOLIGNE
503 431 405 RCS BREST
FRANCE
APE 1813Z
TVA CEE

GASOLIGNE INC.
8 RUE JEAN GOSSET
29200 BREST
FRANCE

France: http://www.gasoligne.com/

Blurb:

Gasoligne® is a new french independent digital type foundry, born from the passion of 2 brothers for grafizm.
Gasoligne® designs, manufactures and sells high quality typefaces.
This website is the best and first place in the world to find our typefaces.

Professionnels.
Nous réalisons des polices d'écritures générales disponibles à la vente auprès des professionnels et particuliers, mais réalisons également tous types de commandes spéciales.
En effet l'identité d'une marque, d'une société passe par son logo, sa communication commerciale et publicitaire mais plus encore que le message lui-même, l'écriture dessinant ce message devient identitaire. C'est pourquoi nous réalisons également des polices d'écritures exclusives. Nous pouvons également décliner une police à partir de votre logo. Nous répondons à toutes vos demandes.

Qualité et fiabilité.
Nous proposons à la vente nos créations de polices d'écritures, mais avant cela nous étions nous-mêmes clients et le sommes toujours ! C'est pour cela que nous apportons à nos créations ce que nous attendons des autres : des réalisations rigoureuses. Avant toute mise en vente nous réalisons de multiples tests et essais de nos créations en version béta, qui sont remaniées de très nombreuses fois jusqu'à ce que nous en soyons rééllement et complètement satisfait. Votre satisfaction est la nôtre.

Expérience.
Fort de plusieurs années de créations dans le monde du graphisme et de la calligraphie, le développement professionnel nous a amené à cette typofonderie qui constitue l'aboutissement d'un projet. Mais ce projet marque désormais le commencement d'un nouveau développement dont de nombreux partenaires professionnels font déjà partie.

Latest Forgeries:

September 2008
Urqinoa™ now available on myfonts.com
Veeko Wide™ is a "starlet" on myfonts.com !
August 2008
NeborgSans™ is a "starlet" on myfonts.com !
Roundabats™ now available on myfonts.com
Veeko Wide™ now available on myfonts.com
Neborg™ & NeborgSans™ at 30% off on myfonts.com ! (end 01 sept)
NeborgSans™ now available on myfonts.com
New fonts in progress: Barobats™ & Practicitymap™

ralf h.'s picture

After all this noise, the Gasoligne Foundry has announced to stop selling fonts alltogether. So the removal from MyFonts was initiated by Gasoligne. Case closed.

Uli's picture

I forgot to mention the identity of the Gasoligne owner:

**Content removed by moderator**

Therese Brockie's picture

Why are you posting people's personal addresses and things? They shut it down, what else do you want? You want a hate mob outside their house or something? Yipes, you can leave it alone now.

Stephen Rapp's picture

MyFonts is good about removing fonts that are sold with questionable origins. They've taken off 2 designs that were copies of proprietary handlettering fonts from the greeting card company where I work. I sometimes wish they'd take it the next step and remove the person doing it from the list. Instead, she is at times featured there and I know she has other questionable font sources.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Therese: In the US of A the local police distributes flyers with the name, address and description (and photo!) of known sex-offenders who have moved into a neighbourhood to ‘warn” the inhabitants of this neighbourhood.
Maybe an extreme example…
But I for one appreciate knowing who the bad guys are. Even when it is a ‘soft crime’ like ripping off IP.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

Therese Brockie's picture

Well surely the sex-offenders are convicted criminals? They've gone through a legal process and the proper authorities have decided that its in the community's interest to know those details.

There is a big difference between due legal process and some idiot on the internet who has taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner.

Uli's picture

In the bizarre world of the font forging industry, those who do not disclose their real names ("Therese Brockie" is a pseudonym) complain about those who disclose the names of anonymous font forgers.

Vivio Russ's picture

Hi Typophile community!

I agree with Therese Brockie, being judge, jury and executionner on this case is a bit too much...
About Korsen, it's similar to aura, the same sci-fi spirit I mean... but miniskip http://www.dafont.com/fr/miniskip.font , epyval http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/epyval.htm or the caps of cabourg http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/t26/cabourg/light/charmap.html are also too... the design is close but different... I am more worried about the share of commercial fonts or the copy of existing design distributed freely... some font recently released like Flavour from Hubert Jocham is really close from P22 Pooper Black, and how about CK tea Party and Clarissa???, there is plenty examples...
For me a same spirit design can't be associated to ripping without evidence...
Just my opinion :)

Vivio Russ's picture

The more chocking thing I've seen is the ITC Blaze case: ITC sell his font here: http://www.itcfonts.com/Fonts/Detail.htm?pid=203664 but on many freefontsites you can find the exactly same one: [Link removed by Moderator. Please do not post links to sites that share the IP of others.]
Someone can explain that to me???
the same case happenned with the Zephyr font: http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/ihof/zephyr/
which have been distributed freely under another name on dafont during a short time but deleted quickly...

Freeza's picture

Uli, posting others personal info isn't nice at all... I would sugest deleting that post.

-

www.nunocoelho.com

Therese Brockie's picture

Apparently that uli guy is a bit of a nutcase so i doubt he'll remove it, but at least the moderators should.

Vivio Russ's picture

yep, this post should be deleted...

Solt's picture

Uli likes to play the bloodhound of the typographic industry. but those "disclosed", "personal" informations are taken from the public WHOIS entry and from some yellow pages. nothing personal, nothing to disclose. nothing to get so excited about.

Bert, the sex-offender comparison is really a bit stupid.

Uli's picture

> “personal” informations

I never spoke of "personal" data. Margor is correct. There is nothing personal about the postal address of a company and about the name of the manager of this company. Who thinks that such public company data must not be told should have his head examined in a loony bin.

Timo Ilola's picture

Don't see anybody cheering the effort of posting the info here, though...

Therese Brockie's picture

Where the details are from is irrelevant, its posting those details in connection with the allegations thats the issue.

It would take me about 5 minutes to ascertain similar info for Uli and post it to some forum saying hes committed whatever crime. The point is he has no right to be judge, juror and executioner.

typerror's picture

Vivio... the caps are very different in the font you referred to (for better or worse). I appreciate your keen eye though!

Michael

Zara Evens's picture

Sorry to crash the party all, but it has been requested that the personal information of this foundry owner be removed, so it has been. I realize it is easy information to obtain, but I must kindly ask on behalf of others who don't seem to want to defend themselves, not to post it here. What you do with it outside of Typophile is your business.

Therese Brockie's picture

Thank you Zara

Vivio Russ's picture

Hi Michael, I made a mistake on the weight, it's Cabourg Bold's Caps I wanted to refer^^
I don't know if I have a keen eye but I just wanted to say that creating a same spirit design in the korsen case is NOT ripping for me...
See ya :)

Uli's picture

> Sorry to crash the party all, but it has been requested that the personal information of this foundry owner be removed, so it has been.

I only stated the name of the manager (French: gérant) prescribed by law. The name of the manager of a company is not "personal information", but information prescribed by law. For obvious reasons, this manager tried to hide his identity which is forbidden. According to European Community laws, it is illegal for internet companies to keep secret the identity of the manager who is liable for the company.

Germans may read this:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressumspflicht

Since the Typophile moderators protects shady outfits who sell ripped-off fonts, it is understandable that the name of the manager was removed by the moderators in order to make it difficult for the deceived buyers to claim damages for having bought ripped-off fonts, especially now that the shady outfit shut down the website and went into hiding so that the dimwitted font buyers will have difficulty to find out the address of the manager.

However, victims of the shady Gasoligne outfit may contact me for the address of the manager or "gérant".

The imprint at my website http://www.sanskritweb.net/imprint.htm contains my real name and address prescribed by law (although my website is a private website).

Vivio Russ's picture

hum, yeah but it's only your opinion and not proved facts...
YOU decided that their fonts were ripping...
are you a lawyer, a judge, an internet-cyber-cop or an official organism who can decide if it's ripping or not?... I don't think so ;)
So as Ralf Hermann said "the Gasoligne Foundry has announced to stop selling fonts alltogether. So the removal from MyFonts was initiated by Gasoligne. Case closed."
Don't understand why you want to find problem where there isn't...

bobstradling's picture

What qualifies as a rip off?

In my opinion most type design starts from some other type design.

At school I was taught to draw type based on the ancient Roman style, namely the capitals on Hadrian's column.

Is Trajanus a rip off then?

I don't think so.

I am 69 years old, soon to be seventy. I started out as a lettering artist at a large London advertising agency in the fifties. These were the days before photosetting and digital type. Every art director at that company would ask me to draw the headlines "like" some typestyle or another.

Having read most of the posts here, it seems to me that there is a difference between plagiarism and copyright theft. I have assumed that by rip off, plagiarism is what is meant.

Bob

Vivio Russ's picture

I agree,
but if we have a look on a font by Ralf Herrmann called Agendia, there are many similarities with Envision http://www.t26.com/fonts/444-Envision or Amerika http://www.dafont.com/fr/amerika.font but we can't consider Agendia as a rip-off... however their designs are really close...

aluminum's picture

"Therese: In the US of A the local police distributes flyers with the name, address and description (and photo!) of known sex-offenders who have moved into a neighbourhood to ‘warn” the inhabitants of this neighbourhood."

Just this week flyers were passed around our neck of the woods. Apparently a convicted font forger is moving in down the street. I've warned the kids to stay away from that house as they have no idea where those fonts have been. They could easily be tainted with nasty auto-tracing and dangerous kerning.

The biggest fear is the culprit soliciting kids on the street and passing out illicit floppies from a font lab in the basement. Illegal font labs are a real menace. Once discovered they have to scrub the entire property hauling out all sorts of toxic bits and bytes. A real mess.

k.l.'s picture

Agendia & Co: I fail to see "many similarities" except that all three belong to the same genre, to which you may also add Jeremy Tankard's Alchemy and others. I only speak of same genre, not same quality.

Whether plagiarism or not depends. I assume Ralf knows his own outlines well enough to see if somebody merely moved some nodes or changed details, indicated by his remark "They even kept all my beginner’s mistakes from 2004."
With Aura/Korsen it could be a different case: The simpler the idea, the more geometric or pixelated typefaces get, and the coarser their grids, the more likely it is that such typefaces look very much the same. But it seems it is not a different case as indicated by details: e.g. in both typefaces, the rounding in bottom horizontal of "e" and top horizontal of "a" direct outwards rather than inwards (as would seem more "natural" to me).

Uli's picture

> Just this week flyers were passed around ...

aluminum:

I couldn't help but laugh. Very good joke. Thanks.

Your joke is similar to one of the best jokes I ever saw on Typophile written by ChrisL. It described the bizarre Berthold lawsuits concerning the generic trademarks "city", "grotesque", "ligature", "accidence" etc. ChrisL wrote:

"Will New York City have to change its name now for fear of a law suit from Berthold? What about the classic film "City Lights"? That's of course too silly, so silly it is grotesk. (OOOPS!!) I didn't mean to say GROTESK, it was just an akzident; I mean I said it akzidently, err, accidently. It was a grotesque accident! Oh, crap, I live in a city and created a grotesque accident! DUCK!!! I hear the sound of lawyers zipping their briefs! I was so font of grotesque accidents in the City untill lawyers started Ligaturegation--er ligagation, darn litigation!!! OK! OK!!!, I will cease and desist. ChrisL"
.

dezcom's picture

Thanks for the props, Uli. I had forgotten about that one :-)

ChrisL

blank's picture

What qualifies as a rip off?

I think that tweaking existing outlines and selling them constitutes a rip-off. And apparently the foundry in question agreed, given how quickly that web site disappeared.

typerror's picture

Yoda Chris.... you are wise and funny man! I finally saw the resemblance! That is a compliment : )

Michael

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Sorry if my example offended… Maybe I should adapt it somewhat like:
In a certain under-developed country the authorities disclose the identities of criminals to warn the general public.
They call it forewarning. You may call it breach of privacy.
I don”t care either way.

Uli’s post is no more or less than what lots of ‘authorities’ do.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

aluminum's picture

"Uli’s post is no more or less than what lots of ‘authorities’ do."

I don't think anyone was offended. But to continue the analogy, there are plenty of arguments for NOT doing that as well...be it Uli with font designers or the police with local offenders.

Zara Evens's picture

Since the Typophile moderators protects shady outfits who sell ripped-off fonts…

Uli, this is one more example of you making a claim that simply is not true and it is laughable. Aside from Chris' jokes, the things that comes out of Uli's mouth are truly the most humorous around here.

I, too, find the sudden disappearance of the foundry and their fonts somewhat telling. I have been in touch with "our friend" over at Gasoligne, and he is making some interesting and ridiculous claims on this issue. I advised him that if he wants to defend himself and has nothing to hide, he should consider participating here as well as offline with other parties involved.

ralf h.'s picture

Wow, what have I started here!? ;-)

On the matter of inspiration vs. rip-offs:
There is no useful font without inspiration from other typefaces. We always built our work on other peoples work. But that's not the point here. In every little detail, in every curve and anchor point of Logotypia Pro I made lots of design decisions. No other type designer would make these choices in an identical way, even if this person would digitize my font from a print-out. So when I look at the font mentioned in the first post, I clearly see a font, that was build from the outlines of Logotypia Pro. This is a violation of the End User License Agreement and must be stopped. It's not a question of an "inspired" type design.
I contacted the Gasoligne foundry and they took their website down within minutes after my email and also asked MyFonts to remove the fonts. There is nothing more for me to ask for. I don't know if their other fonts are rip-offs. That's why the title of this thread has a question mark and that's why I asked other designers to have a look at the Gasoligne fonts.

I also knew the name and address of the Gasoligne owner when I started this thread, but there was no need to point this information out to anybody here. I have no reason to denunciate or defame the Gasoligne owner in any way aside from the (to me obvious) case of Logotypia vs. Urqinoa. He has made a mistake and he has reacted as quickly as possible when it came to light. So I'm fine with that and I don't hold a grudge against him (any more). We all make mistakes sometimes, don't we?

Vivio Russ's picture

For me the whole fonts and the foundry disappearred because he didn't want to drag such a reputation...
I didn't find any likeness with other designs concerning the other fonts from Gasoligne...

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Therese: In the US of A the local police distributes flyers with the name, address and description (and photo!) of known sex-offenders who have moved into a neighbourhood to ‘warn” the inhabitants of this neighbourhood.

Bert, how does this actually "help" the inhabitants of a neighborhood -- besides causing a lot of panic? What can people actually do with such "information", besides feel fear?

Dani08's picture

I planned on purchasing a Gasoligne typeface today....completely unaware of the drama surrounding their type foundry.
Can someone recommend a replacement typeface for Veeko-Wide? If they were rip-off masters there must be something close out there. My client has a very tiny budget. Thanks!

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