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Altering fonts

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  • Gerald Lange
    Brian Another quick question somewhat related to my very recent post. I received the Indie Fonts specimen catalog from P22 and in reading the info in the back
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 14 1:56 PM
      Brian

      Another quick question somewhat related to my very recent post. I
      received the Indie Fonts specimen catalog from P22 and in reading the
      info in the back about Use of Fonts I was surprised to see a note
      that reworking (altering) a font is illegal. I wasn't aware of this
      previously and have never seen it stated before.

      So, if, for letterpress printing, I rework a font like the Optima in
      FOG and redo sizing and scaling weights etc am I actually in violation
      of the law?

      Gerald
    • Fontdr@aol.com
      You are not in violation of any law if you don t sell your modifications under the original name. Bob Trogman Facsimile Fonts
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 14 8:18 PM
        You are not in violation of any law if you don't sell your modifications
        under the original name.

        Bob Trogman
        Facsimile Fonts
      • Brian Allen
        Gerald - Yes, there is a reworked version of Optima in the works from Linotype. It has been shown at 2 type conferences now, and I thought I d see it at their
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 15 6:10 AM
          Gerald -
          Yes, there is a reworked version of Optima in the works from Linotype. It
          has been shown at 2 type conferences now, and I thought I'd see it at their
          web site: www.fontexplorer.com now, but don't. I don't know when it will be
          available for sale. There are new weights and styles, including a true
          italic (not obliqued roman) and a titling font. Type people have mixed
          reactions to it, but Hermann Zapf was sitting next to Akira Kobayashi at the
          computer terminal directing the changes, so it is blessed by HZ. It is a
          Linotype exclusive, highly unlikely to be offered through any other
          distributor.

          While at the Linotype site, check out the newly released fonts of Adrian
          Frutiger - Icone, Iridium, and Breughal, only now converted to Type One
          format, 20+ years since they were available in phototype/CRT forms. They are
          part of the "Frutiger's Life" sets. These 3 were written about by Chuck
          Bigelow in "Fine Print on Type".

          Re: altering fonts. Not only can you not resell the font under its own name,
          you may not resell it at all. Modifying the data is called a "derivative
          work", which I'm sure is covered by the license agreement. The fine points
          of copyright/trademark issues are complicated and I am loathe to make
          blanket statements about things I don't fully understand. To strictly follow
          the rules, I believe you need permission to alter a font. In practical
          terms, I think you are OK if it's for personal use only; do not under any
          circumstance give away or sell the altered data. But I know you wouldn't do
          that anyway.
          The AIGA has a pamphlet on font usage and copyright, and while it is still
          too legalistic in tone for me, may help clarify matters. It was sent to
          members last year, but maybe it's available at their web site - aiga.org.

          Regards,
          Brian Allen
          Mountain View, CA
          Agfa Monotype employee


          on 10/14/02 1:49 PM, Gerald Lange at bieler@... wrote:

          >
          >> You can see photos of a specimen of a new version of Sabon being printed
          >> from photopolymer plates at this site:
          >> http://www.porcheztypo.com/atypi/cpbook.html
          >> The type design work has been done by Jean-François Porchez, a well known=
          >
          >
          >> French designer, for Linotype. (The site's text is also in French). This =
          >
          > new
          >> version was announced at the ATypI typography conference just concluded i=
          >
          > n
          >> Rome.
          >> Brian Allen
          >> Mountain View, California
          >
          > Brian
          >
          > Thanks for letting us know about this. The new Sabon looks great.
          >
          > What do you know about the new Optima? Do you have any information as
          > to when will that be issued? Will this be a Linotype Library release
          > or through another foundry?
          >
          > I've a project using the old Optima which I had to rework the hell
          > out of to make it work well letterpress. And then. afterward, I saw a
          > notice somewhere on the new issue!
          >
          > Gerald
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Fontdr@aol.com
          Question: Is the use of Fontographer illegal? Many modifications are possible and are they illegal? The laws of governing modifying fonts are different in the
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 16 7:28 AM
            Question: Is the use of Fontographer illegal? Many modifications are possible
            and are they illegal? The laws of governing modifying fonts are different in
            the US than in Europe.
            Congress a one time considered the alphabet in the public domain and only
            the name could be protected. When it comes to software, then the legal
            battles will never cease. Incidentially, Compugraphic at one time was one of
            the biggest offenders of type theft by altering the name.
            Bob Trogman
            Facsimile Fonts
          • Gerald Lange
            ... I m not sure how much Congress was involved with the alphabet and copyright issues. But type design has been long considered an industrial practice rather
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 16 7:46 PM
              > Question: Is the use of Fontographer illegal? Many modifications are possible
              > and are they illegal? The laws of governing modifying fonts are different in
              > the US than in Europe.
              > Congress a one time considered the alphabet in the public domain and only
              > the name could be protected. When it comes to software, then the legal
              > battles will never cease. Incidentially, Compugraphic at one time was one of
              > the biggest offenders of type theft by altering the name.
              > Bob Trogman
              > Facsimile Fonts


              I'm not sure how much Congress was involved with the alphabet and
              copyright issues. But type design has been long considered an
              industrial practice rather than a product and I believe not
              copyrightable under US law because of this consideration and maybe as
              well by the possible restrictions that might impinge upon the user in
              consideration with the idea of freedom of speech. Well, it sounds
              reasonable! Afterall, in the US, metal type is duty free as a result.

              I think the issue is less one of copyright than breach of contract.
              When you buy the software you are entering into a contract with the
              manufacturer. I assume the wording regarding modification was
              initially intended to prevent unlawful copying or distribution: a
              slight altering of points and a change of name and off the thief
              goes. Standing alone it seems a bit odd since typeface designs are
              themselves derivative by nature.

              The long history of type foundry theft, e.g. your mention of
              Compugraphic, and there many other notorious incidents, ATF,
              Hamilton, etc, does put a shadow on all of this. I've always gotten
              the silent treatment from digital type designers when I mention that
              when Adobe unlicensed its PS font format it gave birth to the growth
              of the indy foundries, none of whom have ever paid a cent to Adobe
              for the privilege of using the formatting. So, theoretically, I guess
              I am amazed at the clamor over copying issues given the
              uncontrollable nature of digital intercourse and, especially, since
              the unlicensing of format encouraged this is the first place. The
              gift horse is a gread ride but the flies are so annoying!!!

              Never mentioned is the fact that user copying can easily be
              preventable by doing exactly what they did in the pre-digital analog
              days. Sell proprietary software and proprietary typefaces. That won't
              stop the other foundries (those that can afford to operate in such an
              environment) from stealing your stuff though...

              Gerald
            • Katie Harper
              All this talk about copyright of fonts and how broad or narrow the protections, brings up another aspect. What about type designers and what happens to their
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 17 6:02 AM
                All this talk about copyright of fonts and how broad or narrow the
                protections, brings up another aspect. What about type designers and what
                happens to their copyrighted artwork?

                A serious problem that also was not a factor in the analog days is the
                ability of the digital font user to actually change the way the type looks.
                I'm not talking here about the incremental changes to a font that make it
                print better on letterpress, but what is far more common: the great unwashed
                out there taking a well designed letterform and squeezing it, squashing it,
                smashing it, stretching it, pulling its legs and arms off without mercy...
                etc., all because the computer lets them do it and no one is telling them
                that maybe it's not okay... As a teacher, I spend a lot of time trying to
                instill in my students a respect for the type designer's product, but most
                people are using computers without any such guidance.

                This to me is a far greater crime. I think back to the days when Fred Goudy
                would design a font that was distributed to printers around the land,
                sleeping well at night because he could know with a reasonable certainty
                that anyone who used his fonts would produce the letterforms that he
                designed. A digital type designer sends his or her children off to a very
                cruel world. Do they just grit their teeth and wave good-by to the kids? It
                would be interesting to know if there is any legal protection for the
                designs and their integrity.


                Katie Harper
                Ars Brevis Press
                Cincinnati, OH
                513-233-9588
                http://www.arsbrevispress.com
              • Peter Fraterdeus
                Katie Good questions all! I ve been in the digital type biz since 1987, when I released Prospera and started my Alphabets, Inc. (www.alphabets.com) Prospera
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 17 6:52 AM
                  Katie

                  Good questions all!
                  I've been in the digital type biz since 1987, when I released Prospera and started my "Alphabets, Inc." (www.alphabets.com)

                  Prospera was the result (partially) of work I'd done under a NEA Design Project Grant, which included some study with Hermann Zapf at RIT, and research in Europe, as well as plenty of toner run through the LaserWriter ;-)

                  In a word : yes.
                  We must 'grit [our] teeth and wave good-by to the kids' as you put it.

                  There is simply no way to sell a digital type product that can't be treated like a Doberman's favorite sock toy. Moreover, it's not only the unwashed that partake in this ;-)

                  Nonetheless, I personally believe that the fine people who actually PURCHASE fonts (as opposed to the art and design students who generally "inherit" huge libraries from their educational institutions) DO respect the designers.

                  Also, modern type design should, clearly, take into account the, 'plastic' nature of the instant repro technology, and be, at minimum, forgiving, or better, designed for adaptation of this nature... Of course, such efforts are easily defeated, in any case...

                  At 9:02 AM -0400 2002-10-17, Katie Harper wrote:
                  >All this talk about copyright of fonts and how broad or narrow the
                  >protections, brings up another aspect. What about type designers and what
                  >happens to their copyrighted artwork?
                  >
                  >A serious problem that also was not a factor in the analog days is the
                  >ability of the digital font user to actually change the way the type looks.
                  >I'm not talking here about the incremental changes to a font that make it
                  >print better on letterpress, but what is far more common: the great unwashed
                  >out there taking a well designed letterform and squeezing it, squashing it,
                  >smashing it, stretching it, pulling its legs and arms off without mercy...
                  >etc., all because the computer lets them do it and no one is telling them
                  >that maybe it's not okay... As a teacher, I spend a lot of time trying to
                  >instill in my students a respect for the type designer's product, but most
                  >people are using computers without any such guidance.

                  A crime, indeed, yet, in the overall perspective of real life, a petty misdemeanor.
                  Would we rather have graphical computers only available to the professional, registered typographic communicator???

                  No. The display of bad typography is a great boon to the exchange of ideas.
                  Also, it makes our meticulous work look even better than it deserves l;-)

                  While the majority will continue to use dtp software with results that make us queasy, there are those that have begun on the path to enlightenment, sometimes through the gentle prodding of teachers like yourself, other times, simply by coming to the realization that there's something that designers do that seems to make a positive difference in how well that message is received.

                  >
                  >This to me is a far greater crime. I think back to the days when Fred Goudy
                  >would design a font that was distributed to printers around the land,
                  >sleeping well at night because he could know with a reasonable certainty
                  >that anyone who used his fonts would produce the letterforms that he

                  Fred Goudy lost plenty of sleep, precisely because many of those printers were using his letterforms from foundries that blatantly stole and reproduced them!

                  >designed. A digital type designer sends his or her children off to a very
                  >cruel world. Do they just grit their teeth and wave good-by to the kids? It
                  >would be interesting to know if there is any legal protection for the
                  >designs and their integrity.

                  Not in the US, other than design patents, which are harder to enforce, due to need to prove 'uniqueness'. Design patents are given for furniture lines, table ware, etc...

                  In Europe there are far stronger protections on the actual shapes of the letters. Here, the only thing that CAN be copyrighted is the SOFTWARE that produces the outlines! (and thus the data points and any derivatives thereof.)

                  >Katie Harper
                  >Ars Brevis Press
                  >Cincinnati, OH
                  >513-233-9588
                  http://www.arsbrevispress.com

                  Nonetheless, as I mentioned, those that BUY fonts are not usually the ones that worry them.
                  Also, some of the high end boutique 'foundries' charge enormous prices and include extra goodies (letterpress booklets among them if I recall) to provide their users with an 'incentive', if you will, to, first, not give the font away to all their friends, and second, to use it with knowledge and respect...

                  In any case, I've come a long way from my early typographic conservatism (I'm still a social liberal ;-) and I now feel that freedom to communicate is far more important than fussy, possibly elitist notions about OTHER people's use of type. This (I hope) clearly doesn't mean that >>I<< would abuse a beautiful design for shock value ;-)

                  Cheers!

                  Peter

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                  www.semiotx.com Magical Images from the Moon's Garden!

                  Save Our Congress from Moralistic Right-Wing Rubberstamp-ism.
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                • caldrich45
                  As long as the font is for your own use and you don t sell or give the altered font away, you can do what you want with it. I believe that is fair use. You
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 31 8:26 AM
                    As long as the font is for your own use and you don't sell or give the altered
                    font away, you can do what you want with it. I believe that is "fair use." You
                    can tear pages out of a book and highlight and cross out passages if you so
                    desire. you can paint over someone else's canvas if you have purchased a
                    painting. To me, this is no different. I belieive that legally, fonts are not
                    copyrighted, only the name. Once you alter it, you should rename it, it then
                    becomes a different font.
                  • Gerald Lange
                    Hi Yes, I think there is a legal simularity between the physical object that one is in possession of versus the intellectual effort of the creator... But when
                    Message 9 of 18 , Oct 31 8:43 AM
                      Hi

                      Yes, I think there is a legal simularity between the physical object
                      that one is in possession of versus the intellectual effort of the
                      creator...

                      But when you rename a font as far as I know the code name, the FOND
                      identification, is not altered. Could be wrong about that but I thought
                      both FOG and FL don't alter this. Maybe I'm confused about this?

                      Gerald

                      caldrich45 wrote:

                      >As long as the font is for your own use and you don't sell or give the altered
                      >font away, you can do what you want with it. I believe that is "fair use." You
                      >can tear pages out of a book and highlight and cross out passages if you so
                      >desire. you can paint over someone else's canvas if you have purchased a
                      >painting. To me, this is no different. I belieive that legally, fonts are not
                      >copyrighted, only the name. Once you alter it, you should rename it, it then
                      >becomes a different font.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Brian Allen
                      RE: regenerating font files in Fontographer (version 4+ for the Mac) - one can change the FOND ID number when making Macintosh PostScript fonts. When you get
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
                        RE: regenerating font files in Fontographer (version 4+ for the Mac) - one
                        can change the FOND ID number when making Macintosh PostScript fonts.
                        When you get to the "Generate Font Files" dialog and ask for a Macintosh
                        font, you'll see on the right side of the dialog: "Bitmap font to output"
                        "Format: NFNT, ID:xxxxx" (some number will be here)
                        This is the FOND ID number to change (use one less than 15,000)
                        When altering a font for personal use, one should both alter the name AND
                        the FOND ID number, to be sure ATM, application, and printer driver aren't
                        confused. And further, it's best to reboot your machine and printer to clear
                        cached memory of font ID numbers before installing the new font.
                        Brian Allen
                        who works in font production for Agfa Monotype
                        Mountain View, California
                        -----------
                        on 10/31/02 8:43 AM, Gerald Lange at bieler@... wrote:

                        > Hi
                        >
                        > Yes, I think there is a legal simularity between the physical object
                        > that one is in possession of versus the intellectual effort of the
                        > creator...
                        >
                        > But when you rename a font as far as I know the code name, the FOND
                        > identification, is not altered. Could be wrong about that but I thought
                        > both FOG and FL don't alter this. Maybe I'm confused about this?
                        >
                        > Gerald
                        >
                        > caldrich45 wrote:
                        >
                        >> As long as the font is for your own use and you don't sell or give the
                        >> altered
                        >> font away, you can do what you want with it. I believe that is "fair use."
                        >> You
                        >> can tear pages out of a book and highlight and cross out passages if you so
                        >> desire. you can paint over someone else's canvas if you have purchased a
                        >> painting. To me, this is no different. I belieive that legally, fonts are not
                        >> copyrighted, only the name. Once you alter it, you should rename it, it then
                        >> becomes a different font.
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ? To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                        > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                        > ? Encountering problems? contact:
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                        >
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                        >
                      • Gerald Lange
                        ... Brian Thanks. I ve never done this and thus far neither my laser printer or any imagesetter that has been used has been confused. (?) Am I just lucky? I ve
                        Message 11 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
                          Brian Allen wrote:

                          >RE: regenerating font files in Fontographer (version 4+ for the Mac) - one
                          >can change the FOND ID number when making Macintosh PostScript fonts.
                          >When you get to the "Generate Font Files" dialog and ask for a Macintosh
                          >font, you'll see on the right side of the dialog: "Bitmap font to output"
                          >"Format: NFNT, ID:xxxxx" (some number will be here)
                          >This is the FOND ID number to change (use one less than 15,000)
                          >When altering a font for personal use, one should both alter the name AND
                          >the FOND ID number, to be sure ATM, application, and printer driver aren't
                          >confused. And further, it's best to reboot your machine and printer to clear
                          >cached memory of font ID numbers before installing the new font.
                          >Brian Allen
                          >who works in font production for Agfa Monotype
                          >Mountain View, California
                          >
                          >

                          Brian

                          Thanks. I've never done this and thus far neither my laser printer or
                          any imagesetter that has been used has been confused. (?) Am I just lucky?

                          I've been trying to put together a cheat sheet on FL like I did for FOG.
                          I see no real controls to recalc bitmaps or import metric info from the
                          original font like one would do in FOG. I've talked to an FL tech and he
                          says you don't have to, FL does it automatically. Well not from the
                          looks of the fonts I've generated. Spacing attributes are not correct at
                          all. Any tips and tricks? The manual is a complete nightmare, though I
                          must say I do like the Transformation Range capabilities.

                          Gerald

                          >
                          >
                        • Brian Allen
                          Gerald - I expect you ve been a little lucky. When you open the printer font file in Fontographer the first time and then generate a new Mac font + bitmap
                          Message 12 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
                            Gerald -
                            I expect you've been a little lucky. When you open the printer font file in
                            Fontographer the first time and then generate a new Mac font + bitmap
                            suitcase, a new FOND number is randomly generated. If you reopen that FOG
                            database file to make further alterations, Fontographer keeps that same FOND
                            ID when generating the new font files. This is where you might get fooled
                            and not see a change you thought you made.
                            Generally speaking, when a font is downloaded to an output device, the font
                            ID is checked. If a laser printer, say, already has something with that
                            number, theoretically it won't download a new font with the same ID and will
                            use the font data it had already cached. But with the level of complexity
                            now between operating systems, ATM, printer drivers, etc., it's hard to know
                            what goes on!
                            At work when I'm testing changes to PostScript fonts I reboot everything
                            between new installations, to be confident I am seeing the latest. (And I'm
                            using a specific FOND ID throughout the production cycle, so that's a reason
                            for continual rebooting.)
                            Brian Allen
                            Mountain View, CA

                            on 11/3/02 8:24 PM, Gerald Lange at bieler@... wrote:
                            > Brian
                            >
                            > Thanks. I've never done this and thus far neither my laser printer or
                            > any imagesetter that has been used has been confused. (?) Am I just lucky?
                            >
                            > I've been trying to put together a cheat sheet on FL like I did for FOG.
                            > I see no real controls to recalc bitmaps or import metric info from the
                            > original font like one would do in FOG. I've talked to an FL tech and he
                            > says you don't have to, FL does it automatically. Well not from the
                            > looks of the fonts I've generated. Spacing attributes are not correct at
                            > all. Any tips and tricks? The manual is a complete nightmare, though I
                            > must say I do like the Transformation Range capabilities.
                            >
                            > Gerald

                            >
                            >
                            > Brian Allen wrote:
                            >
                            >> RE: regenerating font files in Fontographer (version 4+ for the Mac) - one
                            >> can change the FOND ID number when making Macintosh PostScript fonts.
                            >> When you get to the "Generate Font Files" dialog and ask for a Macintosh
                            >> font, you'll see on the right side of the dialog: "Bitmap font to output"
                            >> "Format: NFNT, ID:xxxxx" (some number will be here)
                            >> This is the FOND ID number to change (use one less than 15,000)
                            >> When altering a font for personal use, one should both alter the name AND
                            >> the FOND ID number, to be sure ATM, application, and printer driver aren't
                            >> confused. And further, it's best to reboot your machine and printer to clear
                            >> cached memory of font ID numbers before installing the new font.
                            >> Brian Allen
                            >> who works in font production for Agfa Monotype
                            >> Mountain View, California
                            >>
                            >
                            > ? To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                            > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                            > ? Encountering problems? contact:
                            > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                            > ? To unsubscribe:
                            > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                          • Gerald Lange
                            ... file in ... that FOG ... same FOND ... fooled ... the font ... and will ... complexity ... to know ... (And I m ... a reason ... A long, long time ago a
                            Message 13 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
                              --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Brian Allen <allenprinter@y...> wrote:
                              > Gerald -
                              > I expect you've been a little lucky. When you open the printer font
                              file in
                              > Fontographer the first time and then generate a new Mac font + bitmap
                              > suitcase, a new FOND number is randomly generated. If you reopen
                              that FOG
                              > database file to make further alterations, Fontographer keeps that
                              same FOND
                              > ID when generating the new font files. This is where you might get
                              fooled
                              > and not see a change you thought you made.
                              > Generally speaking, when a font is downloaded to an output device,
                              the font
                              > ID is checked. If a laser printer, say, already has something with that
                              > number, theoretically it won't download a new font with the same ID
                              and will
                              > use the font data it had already cached. But with the level of
                              complexity
                              > now between operating systems, ATM, printer drivers, etc., it's hard
                              to know
                              > what goes on!
                              > At work when I'm testing changes to PostScript fonts I reboot everything
                              > between new installations, to be confident I am seeing the latest.
                              (And I'm
                              > using a specific FOND ID throughout the production cycle, so that's
                              a reason
                              > for continual rebooting.)
                              > Brian Allen


                              A long, long time ago a tech at Altsys told me never to regenerate
                              from one of their database files so I've always just tossed them.
                              Guess that was good advice.

                              I note that FontLab constructs a ghost font during the entire process,
                              somehow linking this with ATM (for the previews), and then dumps it
                              when the font is saved.. I've been tossing their database files as
                              well. Though I suspect one should start saving the AFM files as we
                              move ever closer to current and forthcoming technologies. (?).

                              Gerald

                              Gerald
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