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French 3 Strikes Group Unveils Copyright Infringing Logo (torrentfreak.com)
66 points by oneplusone on Jan 14, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

Strike One

Actually, it's strike three. People associated with Hadopi have already been caught for unauthorized duplication of DVDs and for playing a song at a rally without clearing the rights. :)


Google has to respect Chinese laws, but the Chinese govt can choose not to.

s/Google/The consumer/g


I thought for sure the "embarrassment" they were going to discuss was the Goatse thing around the o.

That logo is awful in so many ways that I wonder whether the designer tried to make it look bad intentionally, or if it's just a result of 'design by committee'.

I thought typefaces were generally not subject to copyright.

Dozens (there really aren't that much more) of type designers are crying right now :)

Fonts are hard work, can be beautiful and deserve to be protected. It's just a shame that fonts are always priced with professionals in mind. I would very much love to be able to just go font shopping as a mere consumer. I cannot pay $100 (or more) for one font weight, though. Some sort of iTunes store for fonts where you pay $10 (or so) for a basic package (normal, italic, bold, bold italic) would be great. You could limit that to non-professional use. I guess there only aren't enough people like me out there to make that feasible.

Why? It's a fact that typefaces aren't covered by copyright in the US (unlike much of the rest of the world).

The design of the letter forms is not protected, but the digital font files are. If you want to redistribute Helvetica Neue without paying Linotype, you must redraw all the letters.

If you torrent font files you still have a problem. Sure, redraw them, spend hours working the hinting out (probably not as good as the foundry did it) and then torrent all you want. But hardly anybody is going to go through that trouble.


It's not as clear cut as you make out - if you personally redraw the font then you're fine, AFAICT, at least wrt the standard lettering.

The OFL link above says that it was considered that the standard alphabet couldn't be copyright. That means that any font use that includes anything beyond the standard alphabet would be copyrightable.

http://nwalsh.com/comp.fonts/FAQ/cf_13.htm is a bit more certain: If you copy a font file for use online, say, the typeface is PD (only in the US) but the other parts are still subject to copyright and the actual digital font file is itself copyright.

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3135207-5764995 (aff link for fonts.com). There are a lot of cheaper fonts at c.£10 UKP, also some certifiably free (see links at http://alicious.com/2009/2009-font-survey-safe-web-fonts/, my blog) and open source fonts like those at http://www.openfontlibrary.org/.

The big problem with fonts for me at the moment is the uncertainty and fragmentation in web licensing.

The stuff I want is still expensive (Frutiger, Myriad) or not there (Gotham).

There is much out there (no doubt, some great cheap or even free stuff), but the stuff that makes me giddy is generally too expensive for me.

Indeed. I'm assuming that most people simply won't pay and enforcement is hard and unlikely to yield good income so they price them high to catch design companies who can't afford not to pay (high profile, lots of money and clients to lose) and simply ignore the little guys.

Unfortunately with webfonts they don't have to go checking someone's flyers against a reference font they can automate the finding of infringers and sending of C&D and probably make it profitable to be a font troll.

If the font is any good, then its designer deserves to be recompensed handsomely for it.

Yes. But fonts are generally sold with professional use in mind. There is no market for fonts that are used just for fun.

The TrueType font files, & derivatives of those files, are subject to copyright. Copying the design, with printouts of those fonts, is fine.

Treat the font file as a program. Slightly modifying it so, say, the points on the curve are a 1/1000th off doesn't get you off the hook. On printouts - I'm saying on paper, not PDF - the program is obviously missing, along with information on kerning & whatnot.

I've recreated a font from print, & the legal research I did made me comfortable with openly sharing the results.

I saw this a few days ago on a French site and also wondered why they were complaining about typeface, especially when 80% of typefaces look almost identical except to graphic designers.

Replace your statement with "Why is (heavy metal|electronic|rap) subject to copyright when they are indistinguishable to anyone but the 'artist'".

They are still distinguishable and agreed upon to be different.

Funny... Can I allege I thought the same about movies? ;-)

You can state it. I'm not sure you can make an allegation about your own mental state in court, unless you're declaring yourself to be schizophrenic or something.

Ignorance of the law is [supposedly] not a valid legal defence.

It's a bit trickier than that. Ignorance is not a defense to prove innocence. Essentially this is on tautological grounds: I did not know it was illegal to do X. X was done, by you, therefore you are guilty of X. Knowledge of the law carries no weight when arguing fact. However, when it comes to repercussions: ignorance can be used toward motive: "I would not have done it if i thought it was illegal", should probably be punished less than "So what, it is illegal, I will do it anyway". Manipulation of such sentiments is out of the scope of my statement.

Yes, I was going to mention that ignorance can be used to ameliorate sentencing but assumed that was stating common knowledge. The interesting question is [why this] should this be true?

Yes I know there are facile answers to that one but it's still the more interesting question - with subjective morality I think it is a problem. We punish people for doing bad things don't we, not for why they do them? I know, I know...

If that page is correct, typefaces are, in fact, not subject to copyright.

Font software can be copyrighted, which includes some formats of fonts that can contain bytecode. But if the end product does not contain this code -- for example, hard copy or text reduced to curves -- it is not covered by the font file's copyright.

The page also states that decorative typefaces can be registered in the U.S. for a design patent, and typefaces in general can be a "Registered Graphic Design" in the E.U. Presumably this is what the Hadopi guys have fallen afoul of.

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