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- Posted on
- Loren Waddle
July 20, 2003, 9:46 pm
rate this thread
Oh yes they are.
Feed "font foundry" to google and see just how many people out there *sell*
fonts. That is, they hold the copyright to the font and sell you a copy for
your own personal use. These people make a living out of creating fonts. If
you pirate their fonts and use them illegally then they can, and do, sue.
And why do you think Microsoft distribute a font call Arial when it looks
almost exactly the same as Helvetica? Because Helvetica is a copyrighted
font and MS would be breaching that copyright if they distributed a font
called Helvetica, regardless of what it looked like.
Please do your homework before coming up with blanket statements like the
You entirely miss the point.
The toys-r-us suit has absolutely nothing to do with the copyright on fonts.
It is the font file, the .TTF file, that is copyright, not the use of that
font on a web site or a toy or anywhere else. That is what you get when you
buy a font. The TTF file and the right to use it, as conferred upon you by
the copyright holder.
Some fonts are not in the public domain, specifically the one the OP wished
to use. If you do not have copyright to the font file or a legal copy of it
then you are in breach of copyright if you use it, anywhere.
toys-r-us lost because they (most probably) do not own copyright to the font
and can therefore not claim breach of copyright. Even if they hold a legal
copy (read a copy purchased from the designer and copyright holder of the
font) then they still have no legal claim on the use of that font by others
that may also have a legal copy of the font. If the font is in the public
domain then toys-r-us have absolutely no legal claim against anybody else
using that font.
However, if toys-r-us in fact did produce the font and therefore held
copyright on it (by merely creating the TTF file as a piece of work) then,
if somebody else used that font and toys-r-us could prove that it was their
TTF file that was used then they would win the suit.
The library of congress also has nothing to do with this. Copyright comes
into being as soon as a peice of work (say a TTF font file) is produced.
Nobody has to tell anybody anything about it at all. It is simply there, and
it is an international thing, not limitied to one country that may have a
building they call the library of congress.
Do you really understand what the terms copyright, public domain and fair
use really mean?
If you and I are thinking of the same lawsuit, it had nothing to do with
the font. The company was called Babies r us, (or something like that)
and Toys... felt they owned the "r us" part. That was the key point, not
the use of a similar font and color scheme, which was incidental to the
Since there have been xxxx r us stores before Toys, they had little
legal weight to stand on. Probably hoped to bankrupt the little guys
through legal costs.
For more info, see:
PS, this guy really loves fonts; see:
. . . .
The movie [Chocolat] is set in a small town in provincial France,
mid-1950s. About halfway through the film, the town's mayor puts up
notices forbidding anyone to eat anything but bread and weak tea
during Lent ... I almost laughed when they showed a close-up of the
notice. The headline was set in ITC Benguiat, a typeface which debuted
in 1978 and was mainly popular in the '80s.
. . . .
Search http://www.copyright.gov for registration number PA-764-635:
Font garden : a professional collection of 500 fonts for Windows and
Claimant: acWalnut Creek CDROM, Inc
I'm sure there are others, but that's the first one I found.
Please respond to the group so others can share
A font is not a variation of the alphabet. It's a collection of glyphs
(carved figures or characters). You can copyright an image of the letter A,
just as you can copyright a glyph of one. Fonts can be and are copyrighted.