Experimental Letraset digital font technology of 20 years ago

Bald Condensed's picture

Letraset had an experiment some twenty years ago which drove users crazy. To protect their software, they had programmed the fonts to be installed only 5 times. After that they were, like, dead. I remember FontShop had the occasional hysterical customer saying "I've installed it 4 times already and it's still not working, I've only got one chance left!" Needless to say, the experiment was never taken up in the industry.

Does anybody have more precise information about this technology, and did this font format have a specific name?

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Not the slightest idea, Yves, but I still have a bunch of original floppies with fonts from the period somehere & if needed could look into it. That is, if the floppy drive works…

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

Ed_Aranda's picture

Sorry, I don't have the answer to your question, but this got me thinking about protecting fonts from piracy. I wonder how difficult it would be to embed licensing restrictions in fonts, similar to songs you would download from iTunes, where the font can only be authorized on however many computers at a time. Am I missing some obvious reason for not doing something like that?

blank's picture

Am I missing some obvious reason for not doing something like that?

It doesn’t work well and it pisses users off. That’s why those restrictions have been removed from iTunes.

WType's picture

I think people generally have this strange idea:

"These IT/ softwares companies (Microsoft, Apple and "the likes") as well as those in the entertainment industry (Music, movies, Hollywood and the celebrities) make tons of money anyway, so it won't harm them if I don't spend an extra $150 to download their product. What's wrong with rich people like them to spare a poor guy like me?"

Unfortunately, people also wrongly identify the font design industry as one of those who makes tons of money, since most people don't have a clue about font design business and they think that anything to do with IT business make lots of money.

I know at least that is the mentality of many who lives in this part of the world- ASIA, where piracy are rampant!

Legal enforcement and education from the government sometimes help in my country.

weng

WType's picture

Thanks James for the link.

I have mixed feeling reading about DRM, since I am both a consumer as well as designer by profession.

Sorry, Yves, I am sure this is not the direction you like the discussion to go in your blog.

We have down in path many times, still no solution...

dberlow's picture

>Does anybody have more precise information about this technology, and did this font format have a specific name?
Blank.

It should've been called the Corporate Suicide Format, or CSF for short.

Cheers!

Syndicate content Syndicate content