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Re: [ft] Free Fonts

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: [ft] Free Fonts
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 22:35:10 +0200 (CEST)

> I've never seen such a license, but I don't license proprietary
> fonts though, so I've asked if anyone on Typophile knows of any
> vendors trying this at :-)

Good idea.  There is far to much uncertainty, intermixed with wishes
and hopes from font vendors and creators instead of hard facts.

However, as the question is formulated in the Typophile forum, you get
answers how often the *font program* can be used, not the *font shape*
itself.  This reduces to simple software copyright issues which are
rather clear.

>> In other words, font shapes in general are not covered at all by
>> normal copyright.  You need something special -- the Vienna
>> agreement or similar laws -- to get some protection.
> I think it is important not to spread that idea,

What do you mean with this?

> because if someone scans and redigitised that 1982 catalogue and the
> fonts wind up in GNU/Linux distributions and Monotype sues them,
> that would not be good.

If this is done in Germany, Linotype (not Monotype) can't start a
lawsuit at all.  It can only prohibit distribution of those fonts in
countries where the font shape protection hasn't expired yet.

> I think "font shapes in general are covered by normal artistic
> copyright, some countries have exceptions to this" is more accurate.

This is something which should be investigated in a survey.  I still
doubt it.


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