Feeds

Copyleft fonts don't come free

Pay the artists, please

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Linotype gets heavy over free ATM font downloads


I think the tone of your article about Linotype is wrong, and some of the legal assumptions you've made are definitely wrong.

The entire type "industry" has been suffering greatly over the last decade or so due to increased piracy of intellectual property. This has been made worse by the rise of the internet over the last five years and
the large number of sites distributing fonts, the provenance of which are unknown (and unchecked).

The fact is that fonts are software, they're also "art", and people are employed to make and distribute them (like people are employed to write).

Someone needs to get paid along the line somewhere.

I really don't understand this paragraph:

What does seem clear is that Lintype [sic] is making heavy legal noises in order to clear the fonts off download sites.

And strangely enough, the fonts themselves (Cascade, Flora, Frutiger, Helvetica, Isadora, Linotext, Linoscript, Optima, Palatino, Peignot, Present, Shelley and Univers), are currently on sale at Linotype Library's site.

What's strange about Linotype selling products it owns the rights to and also wishes to protect?

As far as licencing is concerned, Linotype licences its trademarks to many companies, including Adobe, so you shouldn't be surprised to see the names used by others. I think you'll also find that these trademarks are
protected pretty much world wide, as there are only three or four pan-national registrations required to cover the globe.

The issue with Adobe's copyright being on the fonts (hey, there's a warning there, copyright Adobe!?) is that Adobe owns the software
copyright (recently proven to be valid in the US and so enforced), while Linotype owns the trademarks (the names) and the copyright on the actual
designs.

You write:

...and that even people offering cloned versions under the same names are going to be vulnerable to legal threats...

True, but also true that people offering cloned versions under different names are also open to legal action. Most countries in the developed world have copyright or design patent protection for typefaces. Indeed
this protection has recently been underlined in EU directives which will compel any new members of the EU to put such protection in place where it doesn't already exist.

They're heavy handed, against a little known website,
when there are so many other sites hosting these fonts...

Try to remember this, Linotype probably has to deal with hundreds of sites like this every month. Whoever is doing that job must find a simple and effective way of protecting their property with the minimum of fuss.

Some sites are going to argue the toss, some are just going to move the stuff elsewhere, and a few are going to say "oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't realise".

Part of running any kind of free archive must be trying to police the files you offer for download. If you don't check then sooner or later you're going to run into trouble like this.

I think if Ian Manners writes to Linotype offering to clean up his site and keep it clean he'll get a thoroughly polite response, and everyone
will be happy, again.

On a technical note "ATM fonts" is a common error. "ATM" = Adobe Type Manager, a piece of software for showing scalable type on screen so that it looks reasonable (not jagged), also in its later versions a tool for
loading and managing fonts. The fonts it deals with are "PostScript" (Type 1), more common on the MacOS, as opposed to "TrueType" (invented by Apple and licenced to MS) which are more common on Windows PCs. So they're "PostScript fonts".

PostScript is a trademark of Adobe.

Clive Bruton®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.