Webfont Blacklist

I'm regularly stumbling upon websties which are using webfonts from which I certainly know that they are not available for web-licensing yet. Or in other cases I see poorly rendered versions of iconic typefaces and the CSS tells me that this must be FontSquirrel outputs.
How should I address this problem? Playing police and reporting this to my type-design colleges?
(I might do that, if they are my direct friends or employers, but for the rest I don't like to be this guy.)

Shouldn't there be a kind of blacklist where such websites can be submitted?
If interested in hunting violation, foundries could browse through it themselves.
This might also create some awareness under web-developers who mostly are not interested in such "boring" details but rather discuss workarounds:

Karl Stange's picture

You might be interested in the service started by, Stuart Sandler called TypeSnitch. The name is horrible but to the point and more information can be found in this thread...


ewalthert's picture

Thanks for the link. Good I don't have to be the TypeSnitch myself.
I'm going to join and recommend a @fontSnitch blacklist.

hrant's picture

Thank you Edgar.

In addition to TypeSnitch I would simply point out any offending sites here (probably just in this thread) whether or not you feel inclined to contact the offenders directly.


quadibloc's picture

(I might do that, if they are my direct friends or employers, but for the rest I don't like to be this guy.)

I am puzzled by this sentence, and I attribute the issue to English not being your first language.

You appear to be saying that if a friend of yours was using a font on his web site without proper licensing, you would not have too much of a problem with reporting the fact to the font owner, but if you saw an infringing face on a stranger's site, you would not wish to get involved.

I would think that if a friend of yours was using an infringing face, instead you would contact him directly, inform him of what might be an honest mistake on his part, and help him to cease infringing - whereas I know I wouldn't hesitate to report an infringement to the victim if I saw it on, say, a commercial site that should know better.

As for Font Squirrel, their web page claims that they "scour the Internet" - with human involvement, not just in a purely automated fashion - to search for fonts which are legally free of charge, licensed for commercial use without payment. If this isn't true, the unfortunate people who believed that claim are not the really culpable infringers.

R.'s picture

You might have misunderstood him. It sounds to me as if he would let type designers among his friends know if he saw some of their fonts being used illegally somewhere, but that he doesn’t want to get in touch with type designers whom he doesn’t know to report possible infringement.

gargoyle's picture

Re: As for Font Squirrel— I think he's referring to commercial fonts converted by their @font-face Generator, not their prepackaged kits or other fonts on the site.

ewalthert's picture

@quadibloc: R. pointed it out exactly right. I have quite some friends in type-design and I did or would give them a hint if I see their font illegally used. In other cases I decided to warn a web-designer or owner of a website directly about the violation. Especially if there is an unprotected True-Type file in the @font-face kit.
@gargoyle: Again well clarified. Sorry for my inarticulate post.

Mainly I was hoping that an official blacklist regarding illegal usage of @font-face kids could race awareness amongst agencies and web-designers.

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