Copyrights for fonts?

Anja's picture

Do you guys submit your fonts to the US Copyright office, or is using the "circle c" usually good enough?

Stephen Rapp's picture

Hi Angie.
Been a while.

Unfortunately the US will not allow copyright of fonts. They will, however, cover the digital data or software part.

So what that means is: if somebody redistributes the digital file and you can prove so you have a case. I think even if they alter it slightly and rename. If, however, somebody scans images of your letters and redigitizes it… the law will not cover it. That being said I've managed to stop that end of it as well. Most foundries will drop fonts that are from questionable sources. People selling fonts that are not theirs don't want to be publicly embarrassed at being exposed.

Some foundries add digital watermarks to help track pirated versions, but its very hard to stop. My last P22 font was being pirated 2 days after release.


.00's picture

We are in the process of registering copyrights on all of our font software with the USPTO. As I understand our lawyer's explanation, doing so allows one to sue for damages and costs. Without the formal registration, one can only sue for damages.

As more font makers allow some sort of web embedding to their EULA. (We plan on updating our license to allow EOT) registering the copyright will become more important.

One cannot stop font piracy, but with registered copyrights it can be viewed as a potential revenue stream, depending, of course, on who is the pirate.


Anja's picture

Stephen! So great to hear from you....where are you now?

Anja's picture

Thanks to both of you, very helpful information!

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