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I am thinking of drawing a script font based on someone's handwriting. The writing comes from an old document, it's a registry that was maintained by a general store owner, a long time ago, to see who bought what and how much they owed him, etc. I have access to photocopies of this document. All rights on it were donated by the family of the owner to a historical society in my area. I was thinking of naming the font after his name.
I have a lot of questions regarding this type of project.
What are the standard guidelines regarding copyrights or commercial royalties on these types of fonts?
When someone is dead, are there any types of rights on their writing? (Or are there even rights when they are alive?) If there are, would they belong to the family or to whoever is the owner of the source inspiration for the font?
Has anyone done this and gotten in trouble before? If so, what kind? :-)