Use of illegally uploaded fonts

Laurentius's picture

Is it illegal to download illegally uploaded fonts? And is it illegal to use them?

Joostmarcellis's picture

Laurentius,

your right about the downloading, the act it self is not illegal, but using the font afterwards is

Rob O. Font's picture

"Most font designers receive no royalties at all for the fonts sold by Linotype, Monotype, Berthold, etc. If fonts were copyrightable, then even decades after the designers’s death, their heirs could claim royalties. But neither Max Miedinger nor his heirs receive royalties from Linotype for the sale of Helvetica. [...] Linotype, Monotype, Berthold, etc. “take the fruit of another’s labor without remuneration”, as you put it. There are exceptions to this rule (Adrian Frutiger, Hermann Zapf, etc.), but for more the majority of fonts sold by Linotype, Monotype, Berthold, etc., this rule is valid."

There might be other explanations, no!? Most font designers receive no royalties for fonts sold by Linotype, Monotype or Berthold, because the designers sold the copy rights to the ownership of one of those companies. Max Miedinger's Helvetica is among them, and some Frutiger and Zapf faces are paid up while others are royalty earning. Those companies control the copyrights because they paid for the work, and if you have not heard from their lawyers it is likely because they are not paid to educate you in Type Legalities 101 unless it pays.

Cheers!

William Berkson's picture

>make atonement by endlessly contributing to typophile threads like this one.

LOL!

gohebrew's picture

I religiously do not copy or use other people's fonts, like other copyright materials, such as movies or music, without paying for them.

Nevertheless, I contribute to threads on typophile quite extensively. In fact, I consider myself a great blabber-mouth.

So, if some font is copyright, use of it without permission from or payment to its owner is in deed illegal.

Nothing, however, will happen. If you stubb your toe as a result, do tell me, as I have connections. G-d is pretty forgiving.

Adobe did win some lawsuits, so there are legal precedents on the books. But that was for big business.

In the end, you can get away with most illegal use. The only one who gets screwed is the poor type designer and his staving family. If you can live with that, breaking the law becomes a non-issue.

Uli's picture

Mr. Berlow:

> There might be other explanations, no!?

Whenever I read EULAs, I almost begin to vomit. But when I really start to vomit is when I read letters by foundries sent to their own font designers.

As my website on this funny industry (www.sanskritweb.net/forgers.htm) has been up and running for more than four years, I came into contact with many people, e.g. with many font designers, who have been taken for a ride by foundries.

I received numerous photostat copies of shysters's letters, which would make any human being start to vomit.

These shysters, on the one had, have concocted bizarre EULAs making the stupid font customers of foundries believe that fonts are copyright.

These same shysters, on the other hand, when the font designers of these foundries, many months after having supplied their font designs, ask for the royalties stipulated by contract, these same shysters send out letters to the font designers explaining them, that it is well known in the font industry that fonts are NOT copyright and that any intelligent font designer ought to know this legal fact and that therefore font designers cannot claim any copyright royalties at all.

That's why I said that the majority of font designers never receive royalties for the fonts sold by Linotype, Monotype, Berthold, etc. As I said above, there are exceptions to this rule. But a few larks do not make spring, do they?

Nick Shinn's picture

Uli, I repeat, what will happen to all the little people like me (independent type founder, designer of original typefaces) when you have blown down this house of cards?

Please stop banging away at the malicious idea that "font designers cannot claim any copyright royalties"--this idea is apt to give my customers the idea that it's OK to pirate fonts, and what will that do for my livelihood?

Don't you have any constructive ideas on how to improve "this funny industry"?

paragraph's picture

Uli: On second thought, could you please go back to writing in German?

Uli's picture

Mr. Shinn:

> Uli, I repeat, what will happen to all the little people like me (independent type founder, designer of original typefaces) when you have blown down this house of cards?

I cannot blow down this "house of cards". I only describe this industry, so that anyone can form one's own opinion. I have never been affiliated with anybody in this industry, so that I can supply an impartial description of this funny industry.

If I were allowed to publish the above-mentioned shysters' letters, many Typophilers would understand, why I said at my website that this funny industry is the scum of typography.

It is my opinion that any work should get its adequate remuneration, and this also applies to designers of fonts. However, the price of a commodity or service is determined by supply and demand, and for Latin fonts, there is more supply than demand.

There are font designers, who make custom-made fonts for certain companies or organisations. This is a business model for font makers.

Another business model is sponsoring. For instance, I sponsored the making of Sanskrit fonts by paying the equivalent of ordinary salaries to designers in Eastern Europe. This was financially possible for me as a retiree, because the salaries in Eastern Europe are very low, as compared with Germany. These Sanskrit fonts are freely downloadable from my website by anyone. This sponsoring model means that the designers get paid by sponsors and that the users may download the fonts for free.

Si_Daniels's picture

"shyster - a person (especially a lawyer or politician) who uses unscrupulous or unethical methods"

... but not illegal methods. Interesting.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

I have never been affiliated with anybody in this industry, so that I can supply an impartial description of this funny industry.

That's funny... you don't sound impartial.

Nick Shinn's picture

There are font designers, who make custom-made fonts for certain companies or organisations. This is a business model for font makers.

I do commissioned work. I also sell (licences for) retail fonts--what is wrong with that as a business model?
You seem fixated on the adversarial relationship between designers and large corporations such as software giants and "legacy" publishers--but I self-publish my own designs, as do a great many type designers these days.
How about showing us a little respect?

Your arguments discriminate against those individuals (and small businesses) who would like to market their intellectual property to mass markets via the Internet.
Why do you want to restrict me to working on a contract or for-fee basis--why should intellectual content-producers not be allowed to productize?

Uli's picture

> I do commissioned work. I also sell (licences for) retail fonts—what is wrong with that as a business model?

What's wrong? Well, for instance, the second section of your ShinnType EULA labeled "2. COPYRIGHT" is legally wrong. That's what is wrong.

If you were SELLING retail fonts, just like all other ordinary retailers do, who sell all kinds of goods, then there would be nothing wrong. But via your EULA you license non-existing copyrights, and that is wrong, because this is illegal (and by the way, this is also unethical).

For instance, you write in your EULA that your fonts are "font software" and that "as such they are protected by the copyright laws of many nations". For example, Germany does not belong to these "many nations", and therefore if you grant against payment of a licence fee a copyright licence to a German, he will NOT obtain a copyright licence, because you cannot grant a copyright licence to something that is not copyrighted. In Germany, we call this copyright fraud. That's what is wrong.

The only legal (and by the way also the only ethical) solution for your retail fonts would be that you skip the "copyright licence" EULA rubbish and that you really SELL your retail fonts, just like all other ordinary retailers in the world SELL retail goods.

nepenthe's picture

Uli, that model works for retail goods because persons can redistribute products while still using it. Say I buy a milkshake. If I give my milkshake away, I can no longer drink it. But if I purchase a digital font, I can give it away to everyone in the world—which is precisely what happens when people post digital files on their sites, as torrents, etc. There has to be some legal accountability for persons who pay for the font in terms of not redistributing them. The data is what is what needs to be protected. I don't know the ins and outs of this whole debate—I know there are plenty of threads here on this topic—but it doesn't seem justified to protect some kinds of digital data and not others. And the argument that font designers are not programmers is insufficient to not protect fonts. Filmmakers and musicians who produce artworks do not write the software that edits and encodes their data as digital files, but there is still protection for these kinds of works.

(I have a feeling I stepped in over my head on this one...)

Nick Shinn's picture

(and by the way, this is also unethical).

My conscience is clear.

The digital type industry operates on a licensing principle that most people--producers, marketers and purchasers--think is fair.
This slice of society determines what is ethically acceptable.

According to you, our industry is founded on a premise which is unethical in the larger scheme of society.
That's debatable, because society as a whole is still wrestling with the issue of how to legislate to protect the rights of digital content creators.

Uli's picture

nepenthe:

> Filmmakers and musicians who produce artworks do not write the software that edits and encodes their data as digital files, but there is still protection for these kinds of works.

Since you are from Canada, I refer to your Canadian copyright law:

see http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/ShowFullDoc/cs/C-42///en

The above Canadian copyright act provides that "cinematographic works" and "musical works" and "artistic works" and "computer programs" etc. are protected by copyright. Hence filmmakers and musicians etc. obtain protection for these kinds of works.

But "fonts" do not belong to the kinds of works protected by the Canadian copyright act, and hence they are not copyrighted by the Canadian copyright act.

Since fonts are neither "artistic works" nor "computer programs", shysters invented the fairy tale that fonts are copyright as "software".

Look for the word "software" in your above Canadian copyright act, and you will find nothing. Got it?

paragraph's picture

No you did not, JP. The copyright protection is automatic and instant on most creative efforts no matter what some people say. Just check any country’s intellectual property regulator’s web page. No registration required, between 50 and 70 years since the creator’s death.

If you worry about obtaining affidavits from people, why not ask the management of National Geographic or Playboy to sign a form you sent them saying anything like ‘I, the undersigned (fill in please), certify that ...’ and use the absence of a reply as an argument in your favour? Or MGM or Universal, or for that matter the government of Germany, Pakistan or China?

I can promise you that they’ll: 1) never sign and return the form; and 2) come down on you like a ton of bricks if you try to pinch anything they regard as their property. Well, they do not maintain whole floors of lawyers for nothing ... (a malicious ellipse)

Edit: too bloody late

William Berkson's picture

Uli, the judge ruled in Adobe et al vs SSI that fonts are copyrightable software. The law here in the US is what the courts say it is, and that's what the court has said. I know I'm no expert in these matters, but you hold yourself out as one. Yet so far as I can see you don't even get the basics right.

Uli's picture

> you don’t even get the basics right.

If you had ever visited my website, you would have seen that I wrote a document about this "summary judgement" Case No. C95-20710.

William Berkson's picture

Uli, how about a link?

I did find some mention on your site of this judgment, but you wrongly claim it is relevant only for Utopia. The court only ruled on that typeface, as they said Adobe only gave full evidence on that one. But the *principle* of the legitimacy of claims of copyright on fonts as software was established.

They didn't rule on the other claims, but it is clear that if Adobe--or anybody else--supplied similar evidence of copying, they would likely get the same result.

That established the principle, which you continue to deny indignantly and, it seems to me, absurdly.

A copy of the ruling is here.

Rob O. Font's picture

"Whenever I read EULAs, I almost begin to vomit."
Then if you read them backwards you'll never need to eat again.

"But a few larks do not make spring, do they"
No, they don't, nor does one vomiting eula reader make typographic winter.

"A copy of the ruling is here."
And it was hard fought and widely supported.

In addition, most all the work we let out is 'licensed' not 'sold', we send all of our works to the copyright office for 'font software' registration and we mop the floor regularly, wash behind out ears and clip our nails neatly.

I think you have been programmed incorrectly by some bad anecdotal or personal information.

Cheers!

Uli's picture

Mr. Berlow:

In addition, most all the work we let out is ’licensed’ not ’sold’, we send all of our works to the copyright office for ’font software’ registration and we mop the floor regularly, wash behind out ears and clip our nails neatly.
I think you have been programmed incorrectly by some bad anecdotal or personal information.

Question:

Which EULAs did you adhere to and which copyright laws did you obey, when you and Matthew Carter and Roger Black and Mike Parter ripped off one thousand fonts for the Bitstream font forging outfit? Did you send these ripped-off fonts as "our work" to the copyright office for registration?

see http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/bitstream2.pdf

I repeat: Whenever I read EULAs, I almost begin to vomit.

Rob O. Font's picture

"Which EULAs did you adhere to..."
None were either offered or required for that work.

"... and which copyright laws did you obey,..."
All of them, we broke no copyright laws.

"...when you and Matthew Carter and Roger Black and Mike Parter ripped off one thousand fonts..."
You have been programmed incorrectly by bad anecdotal and personal information Mr. Black was never at the company or involved with the clients we served. Mr. Carter and Mr. Parker were officers and made offers to the owners for licensing of the trademarks involved to allow those trademarks to be used on machines other than those of the TM owners. Some licenses eventually were granted but most were refused. None of the work was light-table compatible, all included original kerning and scaling data among other things and they were sold as their own designs, not copies.

"Did you send these ripped-off fonts as “our work” to the copyright office for registration?"
Yes. As original digital works derived from analog sources they were copyrightable and accepted as such to this day.

I'm not sure if you have a track, but if you did, you've run off it. I hope you feel better, but would you like another EULA?

Cheers!

nepenthe's picture

That's one funky new icon, there, David!

Uli's picture

Mr. Berlow:

As regards the name of Roger Black, I regret that I made a memory error here, but I should emphasize that, four years ago, when I documented the Bitstream font forgeries (www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/bitstream2.pdf), I nowhere mention Roger Black as co-founder of the Bitstream font forging outfit in my documentations.

"they were sold as their own designs, not copies"

In my document www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/publicdomain.pdf, which was published in 2008, I documented the Linotype typeface catalog of the year 1982 listing the fonts, the designs of which were public domain in 2008, i.e. 25 years later. However, when the Bitstream font forging outfit was founded by Matthew Carter, Mike Parker and David Berlow two decades ago, many of these font designs were NOT YET in public domain. Therefore the Bitstream font forging outfit could not sell these ripped-off designs "as their own designs", as Mr. Berlow claims. The Frutiger-Segoe-case made it clear that "Designs shall be deemed to be identical if their features differ only in immaterial details" (see the Segoe lawsuit documents at my website). But even in the case of those font designs, which were already in public domain at the time, when the Bitstream font forging outfit was founded, the forgers who founded this outfit, could not declare these public domain designs "as their own designs". "Passing off" the designs made by others as one's own designs and selling these "passed off" designs as one's own designs is equivalent to the crime of fraud. Example: Neither Matthew Carter nor Mike Parker nor David Berlow are the designers of the typeface "Frutiger", and therefore it was illegal that they "passed off" Frutiger's design as their own design as "Humanist 777".

Rob O. Font's picture

"That’s one funky new icon, there, David!"
It's one of them fancy medical scans of my brain I done mice elf with my iPhone.

"...was founded by Matthew Carter, Mike Parker and David Berlow two decades ago,.."
I worked for Linotype when Bitstream was founded and for sometime after Bitstream's founding (28! years ago). I couldn't join the company until Bitstream almost had an interactive digital letter drawing machine, and it took a few more months after that to establish a reliable "save" button.

"...many of these font designs were NOT YET in public domain. "
Very few fonts, and none in the Linotype catalog you cite, are "designs" in 'Private Domain" as established by law at the time. See leonard storch enterprises inc. v. mergenthaler linotype co. for that landmark in the legal process and the watershed in Linotype's font development funding vs. their future inability to grasp and control their own future.

"The Frutiger-Segoe-case..."
How long is the gap between the events you are describing, and the case you are citing?

"“Designs shall be deemed to be identical if their features differ only in immaterial details”"
That's very nice, and I like it! So, the fonts made that share the metrics, color and ratio-to-Em of someone else's face would today be deemed "to be identical", whatever that means legally locally. And if not, i.e. if differences in material details conspire to give even a slightly different appearance, Not.

"... David Berlow [is not] the designer[] of the typeface “Frutiger”
You're getting warm, (though not even Frutiger himself put it this way).

"therefore it was illegal [to] “pass[] off” “Humanist 777” [] as [his] own design[]."
Nobody at Bitstream said any of the designs you cite were ours. The typefaces were always credited as inspired by the originals, by the originator (and the originator sometimes helped us for a fee). Attempts at licensing the names were constantly in motion.

Overall, I think that you have to re-appreciate or learn from scratch, the context of a time when the setting of fonts occurred over a wide spectrum of devices, each requiring its own font format, detailed for output and constraints, through which typography and aesthetics had to be carried via an equally perplexing array of composition devices, to a public utterly oblivious to fonts before they saw them. And then, you have imagine the whole thing melting to the point where the company most responsible for trying to utterly change things in typographic IP, Adobe, teamed up with the company that had utterly been trying to keep them the same, Linotype. Then, fast forward to a time where everybody and their mom know about fontz — and some, by cherry-picking through details of vast and small topics ranging from jots and tittles to IP history may choose to present their own isolated little fiction in ignorance of the most basic facts. Can you?

Cheers!

William Berkson's picture

I was thinking reading David's post that it would be nice to see a real history of IP rights on digital typefaces.

So I googled that case David refers to and low and behold an up-to-date 38 page survey of the history of digital typeface IP protection by an actual law professor.

I don't know when I'll get around to reading it.

Uli, this is your birthday present :)

jlt's picture

@Uli: "That’s what’s done by the major font sellers."

What a childish retort. We're talking about us, here. You and me. Not the major sellers. Other people rob banks, too, but that doesn't make it OK for me to. My argument stands: appropriation of another's intellectual property without paying for it is theft, and if you can live with yourself, fine; just don't ever expect to be paid for your own hard work, and don't expect much in the way of karma. Defending yourself with "but xxx did it first!" is ignorant, childish, and - please don't take this personally - stupid in the extreme.

The world is hard enough - why would you knowingly add to the amount of unpleasantness in it? Don't you have better things to do with your existence?

Uli's picture

Mr. Berkson:

> Uli, this is your birthday present :)

You almost hit the nail on the head, because I had already downloaded this treatise before, but not exactly on my birthday, it was more than a month later. By the way: The SSI law suit quoted by you above in this thread is also commented in Jacqueline D. Lipton's "To C or not to C".

paragraph's picture

You almost hit the nail on the head, because I had already downloaded this treatise before, but not exactly on my birthday, it was more than a month later.

Nice to know.

Rob O. Font's picture

"Nice to know."
you mean, that Uli knows what his birthday is? or that he's competent to judge whether a nail has been hit on the head, or if alas he hit himself in the head with the hammer instead? or are you suggesting that because he downloaded something, that he actually read and understand it while chewing on his keyboard at the same time? ;)

Cheers!

Uli's picture

Mr. Berlow:

> you mean, that Uli knows what his birthday is? or that he’s competent to judge whether a nail has been hit on the head, or if alas he hit himself in the head with the hammer instead?

The proverb says: "Who lives in a glass house, should not throw stones."

As opposed to Matthew Carter, Mike Parker and David Berlow, I have never cloned the fonts designed by others and sold under fancy names such as "Humanist 777" etc. My humanistic education does not approve of such behaviour.

Jacqueline D. Lipton's above-mentioned treatise on the font industry should be studied by all those who think that they are as clever as Mr. Berlow.

Lipton, who regards the font industry as an "IP-negative space", constantly uses the conditional word "if": "If such an extension is to be made, copyrights granted for digital typefaces should only be thin.".

EK's picture

I highly recommend to anyone in this business to read the legal article.
You'd be surprised at the gap between the norms you would impose and the real world.

@Uli: you have asked individuals to sign an affidavit certifying a legal opinion, not facts. They can't. At most they could say: "I believe that etc", but they couldn't certify what you ask for.

Uli's picture

EK:

1)

> I highly recommend to anyone in this business to read the legal article.
You’d be surprised at the gap between the norms you would impose and the real world.

I should like to mention that Professor Lipton asked me to cite the documents at my "Font Forging Industry" website in the next draft of her paper, to which I agreed with pleasure.

Her treatise mainly writes "de lege ferenda", i.e. about whether any future US Copyright Law should accord copyright to typefaces at all, or only "thin copyright" (similar to "kleine Münze" in German copyright law). In this regard, the documents at my website are of greatest importance.

For instance, I documented at my site that the main business philosophy of Bitstream founded in the 1980s was to clone the fonts designed by others and sell them under fancy names. From the point of view of any future US Copyright Law, the question "de lege ferenda" is whether font forging companies with such a business philosophy should be granted at all the monopolistic privilege of copyright protection for typefaces.

2)

> @Uli: you have asked individuals to sign an affidavit certifying a legal opinion, not facts. They can’t. At most they could say: “I believe that etc”, but they couldn’t certify what you ask for.

That's correct. But the above English affidavit wording is only an "ad hoc" English wording made for this Typophile thread. I did not send this English-language affidavit to foreign font forging companies. Instead I sent German-language affidavits to (1) German font companies (and also to their German lawyers) and (2) to German subsidiaries and German outlets of foreign font companies (and also to their German lawyers).

Yet, the above English affidavit does not consist only of "I legally believe" statements. For instance, the most important statement whether or not the "source code" of a given font exists at all, and if so, by which person was this source code written, is not a "legal opinion". Please note that Linotype etc. request customers to sign via EULA that "source code" exists, but Linotype etc. and their lawyers, if asked by font customers, refuse to declare that "source code" exists at all, let alone who wrote the imaginary "source code".

Rob O. Font's picture

I've read what's been written by J. D. Lipton, and I am neither impressed with the facts presented, there's nothing new, nor the way it was presented, being poorly word crafted, composed and sprinkled, as I never try to read, with spelling and grammatical errors. (does everyone else get a Courier Italic word in the middle of a Times Italic sentence on every page?). Probably the greatest gap in her understanding of the situation, one that Uli shares like a blanket, is "why?" Why did the the cases she cites and events she superficially chronicles — why did they happen, then?

"...a larger group of market participants who have spent less time in the industry – and are perhaps only engaging in it as a hobby rather than a profession – may have less stake in identifying and conforming to existing norms."

And she's right there with them...to say the least.

Uli attempting a quote of Lipton: “If such an extension is to be made, copyrights granted for digital typefaces should only be thin.”

She is talking about the design! Not the underlying font-drawing software that describes the design! Pay attention! The industry has re-normalized around the following: the software is protected by copyright, the name by trademark and the design by open licensing.

The software is protected by copyright so that it cannot be effortlessly duplicated as someone else's. The name is trademarked so that it may not be stolen, and it can not be applied to a similar or identical design published via different font software. The licensing is open so one does not need to choose ones publishing environment by the fonts one licenses, or ones fonts by ones publishing environment.

"As opposed to Matthew Carter, Mike Parker and David Berlow, I have never cloned the fonts" lol, Show me proof that any of the people you're slandering have cloned fonts? lol, Prove you never have cloned fonts. Just because you have chosen a tiny niche font development, like Sanskrit for Germans today, (Thai for Eskimos tomorrow?), does it give you a superior world view to the vast market of more immediate and important needs?

Your facts and figures are wrong, and your interpretation of them is wronger still. You, by your own admission, "have never been affiliated with anybody in this industry", so that you can supply an impartial description of this industry? How does that work? Like a blind interior decorator is not polluted by having seen anyone else's work can do the best job? More like you, and the eager-beaver lawyers of the world will be set for life chasing phantoms.

Cheers!

Uli's picture

Mr. Berlow:

I do not expect that you listen to me as someone, who has never worked in this funny font forging industry, and I do not expect that you listen to Professor Lipton or any other law professors. But I wonder, why you do not even listen to your friends and colleagues. For instance, Mr. John Hudson, who respects you, nevertheless came to the conclusion that you and Parker and Carter cloned "the entire Linotype library". Mr. Hudson wrote this:

"Which brings us to Bitstream. It is very difficult to criticise Bitstream's initial programme without implicating individuals who both previously and since have contributed so much of value to type development – namely Matthew Carter, Mike Parker and David Berlow. I have immense respect for all of these people, and am pleased to be personal friends with Mike, but to pretend that their hands are entirely clean is futile. There are, perhaps, mitigating factors in Bitstream's decision to produce copies of the entire Linotype library, and to market them under peculiar names. New type technologies were emerging and were ripe for exploitation; Bitstream essentially invented the idea of device independent type; all three principals of Bitstream had formerly worked at Linotype, and clearly anticipated being able to legitimately license the fonts they wanted; Bitstream made attempts to license the fonts, but were refused by Linotype who opted instead to license to Adobe. I leave it to others to add to, correct or detract from these factors. The fact remains that, refused licenses by Linotype, Bitstream proceeded to copy the fonts anyway."

According to your biography (www.fontbureau.com/people/DavidBerlow), you have been working for seven years at the Bitstream outfit from 1982 until 1989. While Carter during his Bitstream period also made a few own fonts not copied from others, your only task during your seven-year period at the Bitstream font forging outfit seems to have been "to produce copies of the entire Linotype library" (John Hudson).

I should like to mention that there are others here at the Typophile site, e.g. Mr. Adam Twardoch, who have described the Bitstream story in similar words just like Mr. John Hudson.

aluminum's picture

My cat's breath smells like cat food.

Rob O. Font's picture

"...Bitstream’s decision to produce copies of the entire Linotype library

... habeas proofo.

"...but were refused by Linotype who opted instead to license to Adobe."

... topics unrelated.

"...your only task during your seven-year period at the Bitstream font forging outfit seems to have been..."

... once again, what 'seems' is that your imagination seems to be wandering uncorrectably and without facts.

You may never run out of incorrect facts, anecdotal testimonials of opinions from nobody who knows, or big-eared lawyers. That is the nature of your being, I guess. But if you ever do, and want to try this or any of the cases you're suggesting in court, let me know and I'll send vomit bags for the eula portion of the trial, before I arrive the shred your case.

Cheers!

buddhaboy's picture

I can't believe the original poster really needs an answer to this. It makes me question humanity. What the hell are we turning the world into? The yout' of today (and I'd be astonished and shocked if the original poster was over 30)... don't get me on me soap box.

James Deux's picture

The yout’ of today

There are Greek philosophers who complaining about youth and how they were unappreciative, lazy, and didn't take their studies (or anything else for that matter) seriously.

Nothing's changed!

EK's picture

I’ve read what’s been written by J. D. Lipton, and I am neither impressed with the facts presented, there’s nothing new, nor the way it was presented, being poorly word crafted, composed and sprinkled, as I never try to read, with spelling and grammatical errors. (does everyone else get a Courier Italic word in the middle of a Times Italic sentence on every page?).

I am not impressed by your criticism of this working paper. It is made available so that it may be improved by constructive feedback. Rest assured that when the time is right it will be professionally edited. In the mean time, feel free to explicate your views on the matter, keeping in mind that intellectual property law a) encompasses areas other than your industry; and b) defines your protected economic interests and not vice versa.

Uli's picture

Since Mr. David Berlow claims that the fonts sold by Font Bureau are "font software" and since he claims that "we send all of our works to the copyright office for ’font software’ registration", I had a closer look at one of the fonts, namely at the font "Benton Sans".

At the Font Bureau website (see www.fontbureau.com/cart/license/single) we read in the "Font Software License Agreement" that the "licensee" is requested to sign that the author of the "font software", here for example the author of "Benton Sans", has written the "source code" of this so-called "font software" and that therefore the "Licensee agrees not to decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble" this so-called "font software".

By studying the internals of "Benton Sans", I came to the conclusion that no human being ever wrote any source code to this so-called "font software".

Incidentally, the hinting of the font is virtually non-existent (at least the font version which I examined and which has the internal font number 2000956):

see http://www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/BentonSans1.jpg

see http://www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/BentonSans2.jpg

Rob O. Font's picture

"Rest assured that when the time is right it will be professionally edited."
Rest assured that time has past.

"By studying the internals of “Benton Sans”, I came to the conclusion... "
By listening to this and your other conclusions, I've come to other conclusions.

"... therefore the “Licensee agrees not to decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble” this so-called “font software”
Really? That is not what anyone else has read, Ever. It actually says we have rights and are the owners of those rights according to the law here, where it was published. Then, separately, it says by licensing this software, (regardless of what may or may not be legal in you country), licensee agrees not to...Got vomit?

"Incidentally, the hinting of the font is virtually non-existent..."
Is it illegal to download illegally uploaded fonts? And is it illegal to use them?

Maybe you are needing to de-stress your mind by upgrading to antialiasing font software. I have not seen such crap rendering since before 1990.

Cheers!

EK's picture

Rest assured that time has past.

You must not understand the concept of a working paper. Either you understood the ideas despite the presentation, or you didn't. One does not spend valuable time editing a working paper until it's substantially ready for publication. So the time has not passed.

Uli's picture

Mr. Berlow:

> I have not seen such crap rendering since before 1990.

The "crap rendering" stems from your Benton Sans of 2003, which was not hinted at all, while the version of 2008 (as used in the type specimen file BentonSans.pdf at your Font Bureau website) is hinted indeed.

When a real professional, for instance someone like Juri Yarmola, who is both a programming expert and a font expert, compares the internals of any letter from the version of 2003 with the internals of the corresponding letter from the version of 2008, for instance these two letter internals

2003: 68 CC B9 B7 76 D9 80 8B 05 E0 17 9B FD C3 47 EB 1F F2 2F E4 6D 79 15 31 91

2008: 68 CC B9 B7 76 D9 80 8B 68 11 BD BC BC D3 47 18 2C 5B 2E B4 6F C0 35 E7 2F 78 EA 93 34 4B 26 29 08 F5 E9 66

then he will recognize at once that nobody wrote the "source code" of the so-called "font software", because completely different drawing sequences had been generated fully automatically by two completely different font generating programs in 2003 and 2008. Neither Tobias Frere-Jones nor Cyrus Highsmith, who have been declared by Mr. David Berlow at his website to be the designers alias "programmers" of the design alias "program" of Benton Sans alias News Gothic, would have been able to write the "source code" for these completely different drawing sequences.

Rob O. Font's picture

EK: "You must not understand the concept of a working paper."
Yes I do. Fee phishing is an ugly business. And legal fee phishing is a really ugly business.

You know?
"For example, font designers who do not actually write code, but who use programs such as Adobe Illustrator to assist them in developing code, may not be creating original code in the sense required by copyright law. Their efforts are not in the code-writing area. The code production is merely incidental to the generation of their font designs."

" ...may not be..." being the phishing lure used here. By the time this working paper is complete, I expect each and every paragraph to lead to a fee. The typing of code itself is not the entire process of digital type, movie, web or musical authoring.
Go on, I dare you.

Do you understand what this kind of phishing does to the uninformed minds it reaches? (Uli calm down, I get to you in a minute)

Cheers!

EK's picture

“You must not understand the concept of a working paper.”
Yes I do. Fee phishing is an ugly business. And legal fee phishing is a really ugly business.

Sure you do, and your argument is proof incontrovertible.

Uli's picture

>> “For example, font designers who do not actually write code, ...
> ” ...may not be...” being the phishing lure used here...

I think that digressions to "phishing fees" etc. are not helpful.

Above in this thread, Mr. Berlow wrote:

"... we send all of our works to the copyright office for ’font software’ registration ..."

So, the only important and only decisive question is this:

Is that which was sent by Mr. Berlow a copyrightable work?

I am sure that he did not send "source code" to the copyright office, because there exists no "source code" for the so-called "font software" Benton Sans, since nobody wrote source code for Benton Sans.

Did Mr. Berlow send a hexadecimal dump of the font file?

see http://www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/SourceCode.gif

But neither a font file nor its hex dump are "font software".

Real font software, which is really copyrightable, is this:

For instance, all editors for the making of fonts are real font software, e.g. Font Lab, Fontographer, Font Forge, Type Designer, Font Creator, etc. etc.

Furthermore, the components of the operating systems (Win, Mac etc.) which display the letters on CRT or TFT monitors, are real font software. In case of MS Windows, it is the GDI that is font software. The Windows GDI generates the contours of the glyphs on the computer screen on the basis of the x-y-coordinates of the contours of the letters contained in the font files. But the GDI is a component of the MS Windows operating system and not a component of the "Benton Sans" font file. The "Benton Sans" font file only contains the contours of letters and does not contain the software required for displaying these contours on the screen. Hence the font "Benton Sans" cannot be registered as "font software" at the copyright office.

Uli's picture

I said above: "Hence the font “Benton Sans” cannot be registered as “font software” at the copyright office."

At the US Copyright Office nobody examines, whether that which you submit for registration is copyrightable or not, so that Font Bureau could also register the non-program "Benson Sans" as a "computer program":

see http://www.sanskritweb.net/temporary/Registration.jpg

It is a funny joke, that Font Bureau stated Fontographer as "preexisting material". Even if they had stated Microsoft's GDI or Adobe's Type Manager as "preexisting material", the officers at the US Copyright Office would not have objected. In this funny font forging industry, it is easy to take even the officers at the US Copyright Office for a ride.

William Berkson's picture

Uli, you think that only executable code is software, and not sets of numbers, electronically stored--the locations of the font's nodes and handles--that guide the executable code and determine the final result: the rendering of the character on paper or the screen.

But the one ruling on this issue, Adobe vs SSI, decides that such sets of numbers are software. You don't have to like it, but that is the legal precedent. So long as you fail to address that reality, you will convince nobody.

aluminum's picture

"I am sure that he did not send “source code” to the copyright office, because there exists no “source code” for the so-called “font software” "

Huh? *All* software has *source code*. Be it Photoshop, my web site, a font, that JPG, Word Doc, etc.

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