TypeSnitch.com

Diner's picture

Hi All!

For those of you who missed my talk at Typecon, I was pleased to announce a collaborative new project I'm participating in called TypeSnitch. Please take a look at the site and participate, donate and help spread the word: http://www.typesnitch.com

Best,
Stuart

dezcom's picture

Sorry I missed your talk, Stuart! I read your linked info but am not clear on what is searched and how it operates?

Diner's picture

You basically upload a list of font names and it performs a search for those names and reports the sites that offer those fonts for free download and grants you access to a report and a pre-popluated e-mail you can send to the download site to have the offending fonts removed.

The basic concept is to make sure folks Googling for a font will find authorized retailers before they find free downloadable versions.

Chris Dean's picture

Absolutely awesome. You inspired a new post: http://readthetype.com/typesnitch

If I join, do I get to wear a cool badge? Carry a dagger? Double dagger?

Diner's picture

You may do all of the above Christopher! Looks like it's now 49% funded! Please keep spreading the news!

hrant's picture

Smooth move Stuart - count me in.

make sure folks Googling for a font will find authorized retailers before they find free downloadable versions.

This would happen somewhat over the long run the more download sites cooperate, but here's an idea that might help it along: instead of relying solely on the font houses' own site(s) maybe TypeSnitch could -with each font house's consent- have a (Google-searchable) page that directs people searching for a font (that is subscribed to TypeSnitch) to where to buy it. With enough visits and links (and hopefully whatever else is in Google magic potion) that page might become a high-ranked portal (sorry for the 90s terminology :-) for where to buy a font.

hhp

dezcom's picture

Stuart, let me know what to do when it comes live. My PayPal is on its way.

Diner's picture

@ Hrant, great suggestion! I'll forward it along to the developer . . .

@ Chris, thank you kindly and I'll definitely make sure you get a head's up once there is something to sink your teeth into!

56% funded! :D

PabloImpallari's picture

Looks like a very interesting way to keep track of our fonts.
Even that I don't sell commercial fonts at the moment, it will still be useful for keeping track of where the fonts are floating around.

Diner's picture

Thanks Pablo! I suspect the feature set will be expanded once it gets up and running!

68% funded so far! It'd be great to get this fully funded in the next week or so!

HVB's picture

Do violators get TP'd?

Diner's picture

They will get C&D'd! 73% Funded so far! Help push this effort over the top!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Who reports the pages that offer fonts for free? Google?

HVB's picture

@ Stuart: Google has announced that they would lower the ranking of sites based on reports (to Google) of copyright violations.

Do you feel that this will augment, replace, or possibly diminish the impact of your proposed process?

- Herb

Chris Dean's picture

@HVB:“ Google has announced that they would lower the ranking of sites based on reports (to Google) of copyright violations.”

Source?

HVB's picture

@ Christopher:

Here's an article from Forbes

daverowland's picture

Could the populated emails be automatically sent out on foundries' behalf? Would it be a rolling subscription or would the $100 monitor those 25 fonts for life?

Bendy's picture

Great idea. I wonder, would the site be able to do anything about other copyright infringements (for example if the font is renamed or if it's used as the basis for someone else's 'interpretation')?

Diner's picture

@ Herb - Indeed saw this article a few days ago and my sense is that it would definitely improve the service since it would make it possible to simultaneously submit a takedown e-mail and send Google a copyright violation notice, especially in cases when the site owner is non-compliant. The service is still very much needed since the work to locate all infringing instances is better automated than manual.

@ Dave - Absolutely! The idea is to generate populated e-mails that foundries can send from the site and move towards fully automated e-mails quickly. The dream is to make this a fully automated service rather spend time manually ticking through work that can be automated. Right now, it's a one time buy-in fee specific to the fonts you're looking to find and remove.

@ Bendy - When the font is renamed or 'cribbed', one need only add a new font name to the service and start looking for that one as well.

Also, we're at 78% now, nearly there but we still have a bit to go, please encourage any others you know who would benefit from this service but haven't donated yet to do so.

Diner's picture

83% Nearly There! Help us push it through 100% Please spread the word and encourage fellow font designers to particiate!

Thank you!
Stuart

daverowland's picture

There could be a section where users can send in URLs they have found that may not be easy to find in Google. At the moment, when I come across illegal downloads of my own fonts, I generally come across plenty of other foundries' fonts too. Right now it's not really plausible to be emailing foundries every time I see their fonts available, but if it was just a matter of sending the URL to Typesnitch, that would be easy and I think the type design community would work together to protect not just their own fonts, but everyone's.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Another percent added. I am, however, not quite sure how I feel about this approach, but I’ll hold my worries for now.

Diner's picture

@ Dave - You make a good point and indeed that may be a good tool to add, perhaps a bookmarklet that sorta drops the dime on sites where lots of commercial fonts are being shared. That's a really good thought!

@ Frank - 99%!?!?!? Very Exciting! Be assured I couldn't support or promote any effort that I didn't feel would be a successful solution for this problem and aid the folks who helped to fund it. I suspect once it's fully funded you'll start to receive a welcome letter from the developer with status updates.

As defined, the project required full funding before any work could be started, so it'll be in the build stage next and soon!

hrant's picture

I bumped the ATypI list with this yesterday - maybe that helped! Or was it all you Cristobal? :-)

hhp

Cristobal Henestrosa's picture

Hrant: I read this thread very quickly a couple days ago, but certainly your mail to the ATypI list acted as a reminder.

Diner's picture

Thanks Hrant and Cristobal!

hrant's picture

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19295221

"Those wishing to protect their copyright on YouTube are encouraged to use a free tool called Content ID which digitally fingerprints their work and notifies them if it appears on the site, Google said."

Stuart, how might Content ID be relevant here?

hhp

Diner's picture

Hey Hrant, not really relevant at all since Content ID is specific to YouTube videos of which no font designers are content creators of for their livelyhood - http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/04/content-id-and-fair-use.html

You know as well as I we're just too far from being able to track fonts in any meaningful way so the Content ID thing is a great idea but without a single platform for distributing ALL fonts the way YouTube holds all their content, doesn't really have much purchase.

Stephen Coles's picture

Congrats on the ’Snitch, Stuart.

have a (Google-searchable) page that directs people searching for a font (that is subscribed to TypeSnitch) to where to buy it. With enough visits and links (and hopefully whatever else is in Google magic potion) that page might become a high-ranked portal (sorry for the 90s terminology :-) for where to buy a font.

This already exists: Identifont.

oldnick's picture

So, Stu—

Who did you "borrow" this idea from?

Chris Dean's picture

How are Identifont and TypeSnitch the same?

hrant's picture

That's not what Stephen is saying.

hhp

oldnick's picture

@Christopher Dean

Well, they're not EXACTLY the same; TypeSnitch is a derivative of Identifont, only subscription-based, so Stu makes money. Likewise, Stu's BTN line is derivative of a lot of other popular fonts, and Stu makes money. However, Stu is very possessive of typeface for which he has paid to "owns" the designs. Capisce?

Stephen Coles's picture

Christopher and Nick: The core concept of TypeSnitch has nothing at all in common with Identifont, only the one auxiliary suggestion that I was quoting in my post.

Diner's picture

Hey Gang,

Sorry you're all off-base . . . Firstly, I have no dreams on making another Identifont, not even close . . .

TypeSnitch is simply a tool for font foundry owners to find 'freely' distributed versions of their commercial for sale only fonts floating all over the internet that shouldn't be there and automates the task of getting them removed via automated or manually executed take-down letters, DCMAs, etc and building relationships with site owners who didn't know the fonts were there to get them removed and generally doing what the service can to assure the top search results for a font name yield ACTUAL retailers of the fonts first and not free downloads of the fonts.

TypeSnitch is a tool and nothing more and one that I think myself and a lot of font designers really need to preserve the value of their libraries. I'd much prefer to make fonts and negotiate licenses than troll the internet and send take-down letters all day and figured there must be a way it could be automated if such a tool was built for this task, so I got in touch with a developer who agreed the idea made sense and if it could be funded would be built .

I'm pleased with how quickly it received funding which means lots of folks support the idea and as the funding increases, it gives the developer more capital to make the service better. To be absolutely clear about this, while I'm a primary driver of the effort, I haven't and won't ever receive a dime of the funds donated, they 100% go to the developer and PayPal who takes their cut to accept the funds.

I suspect over time, the cash I donated to fund the effort will be easily returned in legitimate font sales of my works and it gives me peace of mind that I'm doing something to assure the sites that shouldn't have 'em don't. The fact that I opened up the project so other font designers could participate was because I knew it was a tool others needed, just as I do and to be more than fully funded in under 3 weeks proves that.

Lastly, I must point out the ONLY comparison to Identifont was made as a suggestion by Hrant just above in this thread about what the service COULD be and I'm honestly puzzled how quickly the wheels fell off the train with Stephen and Nick's posts since nothing I'd ever posted suggested TypeSnitch would be an Identifont type service.

And Nick, I'm not sure what you're getting at but you are welcomed to e-mail me offline at (diner at fontdiner dot com) if you have some dirty laundry you feel the need to air and FWIW, I think you have a wonderful library and respect your work but honestly have been deeply perplexed by your need to give it away freely and presume it will retain any value, perhaps I'm mis-understanding your intentions.

Calm heads everyone please, I do feel like I just broke up a lynch mob . . . Please ask questions rather jumping to conclusions so the wrong information isn't being communicated carelessly.

Diner's picture

@ Stephen - Funny, you can read your post multiple ways but I got that you were simply pointing out Identifont already did the service Hrant described . . .

And thank you! Looks like Smashing Magazine picked up word of the Snitch and we've got even more funding than I ever expected it would, we're now on our way to fund the phase two efforts!

hrant's picture

Folks have become really jumpy, haven't they. Reminds me of people stuck in a bomb shelter for too long. Must be the economy. You can blame anything on the economy. One day I'm going to call my wife and say: "Honey, I'm not coming home tonight. You know, the economy." Being an election year doesn't help either - people feel pressured to vote the right way. As if.

Stuart, we've known each other since the first TypeCon in '98, we've had some top-tier Mendoza Malbec together, so I'm sure you know that I for one wish you only the best. And if I can somehow hitch a nice ride on this thing, awesome.

hhp

dezcom's picture

Way to go, Stuart!

Charles_borges_de_oliveira's picture

Right on Stuart! For those who do not know Stuart he is one of the nicest guys around. Glad to be his friend!

oldnick's picture

Hrant,

Fear of Big Money makes cowards of the meek…as if you didn't already know. All hail Chicken Stu!

Diner's picture

I appreciate the kind words all and indeed Hrant we shall enjoy Malbac again soon I hope. . . Nick, we shall toast you fondly.

Chicken Stu :D

PS: My wife enjoyed my new nickname, thank you!

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