Downloading Free Fonts for PC - more still

treacyfaces's picture

I hope the group doesn't mind too much, my continuing this thread a little longer.

I've grouped several replies to comments in the end zone of the original thread, below....

Hopefully, it's informative and helpful.

darrel said

(re my conjecturing about
the probable future of fighting
font software piracy,
compared to recent
Recording Industry Association of America
legal actions/inroads against
audio recording piracy)

>The solution we can use is called copyright law.
>It's not ideal, but it's what we have.

Yes, that's right. And, related: trademark and patent laws, where they apply (in the case of fonts).

>If you
>truly are loosing a large amount of sales to a
>pirate, then you call up the lawyers and act. Yes,
>this favors the Adobes and RIAAs of the world...
>not the guy sitting in the basement making fonts.

True, they're more likely to act fastest. But you do what you can. If you're a type designer being wronged, you have to act in some way proportional to what your business can tolerate and potentially succeed with. After all, it's your art. Your craft.

>I still stand behind my belief that the best
>solution is simply to cater to your honest

Yes, I believe that you are exactly right about that.

>Educate people on piracy issues the best you can,
>and hope that your product is good enough to
>encourage enough to purchase.


>This is where the RIAA is failing.
>They are neither providing very good product
>these days, and they aren't even willing to
>let me purchase what I want

This is where I think that you're confusing things.

Not giving the public what it wants (granted, often that's something of an amoeba; hard to pin down) is nothing more than a major, possibly widespread, catastrophic failing of the marketing departments at the record companies to understand their market and how the market will react to a given talent in release.

I guess the point could be made that the failings of the marketing departments at the record companies have been going on now for perhaps a decade or two, as they have insisted (according to published reports) on continuing to move everything onto the compiled album as their central sales vehicle.

Earlier providing music buyers with the opportunities to buy individual cuts and mix-and-match custom compilations - by about 1993 - would certainly have solved the problem of user frustration over buying options and cost.

And well before the popularization of the internet and the resusitation of peer-to-peer node networking to try to fill the lowest-common-denominator product availability gap.

That availability of being able to buy right down to the individual font certainly works in the font industry very well.

It would seem the models in the type industry were there for the recording industry to mimic.

(And let's face it, the model of selling the creative product in the type industry, right down to the font, right down to buying a single letter, has existed for the world to see for how many centuries now?)


>(and, on top of
>that, they sue their own consumers).

That's simply because of the documented violations of copyright law stacking up. In bulk. Massive, massive bulk quantities.

Surely you don't believe that they are suing their customers for the sport of it?

These undertakings are all major, and all major pains in the neck to managements, employees and to shareholders. If pirates backed off, and if ISPs had been more cooperative and did not seek to mask and protect obvious thievery, it would not have come to this, I'd bet, based on what I've read of it.

If music lovers have been so concerned over the want of more buying options, why haven't we seen grassroots groups petitioning the record companies with plans outlined as to how their surveyed customer groups wanted to buy? I don't recall seeing any such effort reported, but of course, I might've missed it.

The recording companies, nonetheless, undoubtedly do their own focus group testing and other surveying, to determine customer desire. It's a natural part of marketing, especially where the total revenues at stake go into the realm of what's annually spent on CDs, concert performances, etc.

Still, the record companies have a right to run their businesses as they see fit. It is their business. They have a right to market as they determine is best for them. After all, they're the ones who have invested in bringing the talent to market, or to broader audiences, than the talent might've otherwise ever enjoyed on short schedule.

If the market doesn't like the way they run their business, or how they package the works by artists they enjoy, then **don't buy the products**.

(No, I don't mean steal them instead. I mean, just walk away. Ignore them and their artists. Simply find something else to listen to. Yes, even if it means listening to free radio. Horrors!)

Also, write them and tell them you decided to walk away, to not buy. And why you made that decision.

Otherwise, things never change for the better.

>They need to learn a basic premise of
>capitalism...give the consumer what they
>want at a sellable price...not what you,
>as the vendor, wants.

Agreed, wholeheartedly.

But again, that they don't is not an argument to steal their property (as defined under applicable copyright law).

Until you take over the recording company with a hostile buyout, etc., it is their business, and their properties.

(Again, apologies to the group for the length of this, but I think the comparisons to the type business are worth the ether. And believe me, after this, I'm on ether. And I think I've got the vapors, too. Whatever that is....)

Hrant H Papazian said

>Joe, they're right.

You mean the aliens who took our Elvis away?


I respect your opinion, but I personally don't think they're right. I think they're mixing unrelated arguments into a witches' brew, muddling it. Which is why I'm bothering to spend time helping to sort this out.

(Yes, I'm done now. Believe me, I'm not trying to win any marathons.)


And to my

> And we're all very lucky we don't live in such barbaric times.

Hrant said

>Joe, I'm sorry, but: are you nuts?
>Where do you get your news, the Disney channel?
>And where have you travelled to recently,

:-) I was being sarcastic, momentarily.

(I would like to visit Legoland sometime. The various installations of Lego I've seen, and the pictures and video of Legoland, look fun.)

Keith Tam said

>...Typeface design is such a thankless job. Graphic designers rarely even give credit to the typeface used, never mind the type designer. Why would they even reveal the name of the typeface they used when they didn't even pay for it?! Honestly, I don't see any cut-and-dry way to solve the font piracy problem. Only education can solve it, I think. I really shouldn't tell you this, but I've had an instructor who made a Zip disk full of fonts available for us to use/copy. Now that's really unethical, and it is terribly damaging to the type business. It makes it normal for designers to copy and pass around fonts. Most people here (I assume) won't even dream of pirating fonts. Why? We are just conscientious? We simply appreciate the beauty of typefaces, respect the talents of those who designed them, and understand how much work it takes to design and produce a great typeface. Only when the these values and artistic appreciation abilities are imparted to the students would they stop pirating fonts. These are acquired skills, and can be learnt. Students have to understand that they don't need every single typeface in the world at their fingertips to do great designs. They have to understand a good type library has to be built gradually, over time.

Keith, thanks very much for your insights. They add a lot to the discussion.

That an instructor would actually do that in 2003 is not just surprising. It's horrifying for all involved.

And a good indicator of just how confused the market still is about font piracy. Even amongst people like educators who one would think would know better.

Thanks so much for adding what you wrote.


aluminum's picture

Well, we're debating the RIAA more now, which is a topic I like to do, but probably isn't too on topic.

Anyways, the point is that 60 million people download music off of P2P networks. The RIAA can either sue everyone, or consider listening to the market and accomodating.

> Yes, even if it means listening to free radio. Horrors!

Who do you think runs the 'free' radios? ;o)

hrant's picture

> you have to act in some way proportional to what your business can tolerate and potentially succeed with.

Secondarily. Primarily, you have to act in some way that's actually good for you, and good for others too.

> Surely you don't believe that they are suing their customers for the sport of it?

Huh? They're suing because the System -which they've
helped create- works that way to make the rich richer. Duh.

> Otherwise, things never change for the better.

You can't make things better by walking away from a monster - you have to defeat it.
I don't pirate songs (except if merely listening to Shoutcast counts, but I don't think
it does), but I would love to see the RIAA die a burning death.

> It's horrifying for all involved.

What do you expect when their governments pursue ruthless imperialism at the expense of the wellbeing and lives of other peoples? Bad behavior is contagious and self-validating. Why do you think every other day there's a shootout in a US highschool?

It's not a muddle - it is all one thing.


hawk's picture

"i don't see any cut-and-dry-way to solve the font piracy problem..." -

maybe to change the law. well...not maybe. but MUST.

i don't understand why the design of a typeface is not protected - like in many european countries.

David Hamuel

steve_p's picture

>They need to learn a basic premise of
>capitalism...give the consumer what they
>want at a sellable price...not what you,
>as the vendor, wants.

Or, use all of the mass communication channels at your disposal to make the consumer want what you have
That makes it much easier to give them what they want

>>I don't pirate songs
Neither do I, but I have paid 2 or 3 times for much of the music I own.
If I already own a vinyl LP, then I buy the CD version of the same album, surely I should only have to pay for the physical production and distribution of the CD - I've already paid for the artist for their talents and time, as well as for the initial recording of the music.
Does this argument apply to fonts too?
Should I be able to buy all formats of a font for a lower price than:
(number of formats X price of individual format - bulk buying discount)
(By format I mean true type, type 1, Mac/PC versions etc)

treacyfaces's picture

steve paxton said

>Does this argument apply to fonts too?
Should I be able to buy all formats of a font for a lower price than: (number of formats X price of individual format - bulk buying discount)
(By format I mean true type, type 1, Mac/PC versions etc)

Yes, I think that you should. In fact, we do that, and have for years.

We don't give away the second, third or fourth formats (for reasons that have nothing to do with greed). But we do provide them at 50% off the price of the first version, when ordered in the same transaction or within the same month.

So for instance, ordering four from us, one receives: Family volume discount which lops off about 16% on a purchase of four fonts, then the second version discount taking off the next 50%.

If you're a student or educator, you receive 50% off of all of the above. If you quote the current discount code on our home page, another discount applies.

Is that enough multiformat discounting?



treacyfaces's picture

david hamuel said

>i don't understand why the design of
>a typeface is not protected - like in
>many european countries.

Protection for at least the data description of an outline letter has gotten better in recent years.

The reason why the USA has lagged so far behind other nations on this in many ways boils down to the significant amounts of lobbying and lying to the courts over the decades, effectively fooling the lawmakers into believing that font letterforms are more or less generic carriers, with no intrinsic unique value.

As with the glazing over that your family and friends do when you start to describe what you do as a designer, so have the judges trying cases against pirates in earlier decades.

It's not unusual for the judges to fall asleep when the exposition turns to comparing two blowups of the letter A, for instance, with callouts showing similarities....


treacyfaces's picture

To my

>> Surely you don't believe that they are suing their customers for the sport of it?

Hrant said

>Huh? They're suing because the System
>-which they've helped create-
>works that way to make the rich richer. Duh.

Duh, to infinity.


hrant's picture

> fooling the lawmakers

Oh, they're not fooled for a second - they're a big part of the problem.


treacyfaces's picture

I think I'm finally finished with this thread.

Thanks for listening, all.

By the way, thanks, too, to Mark Simonson for his on target comments,
in the first part of this thread.


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