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Re: new digital Sabon and altered fonts

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  • 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 1 of 18 , Oct 16, 2002
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      > 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 2 of 18 , Oct 17, 2002
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        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 3 of 18 , Oct 17, 2002
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          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

          --
          -
          AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa& @

          Peter Fraterdeus http://www.midsummernightstamps.com
          www.semiotx.com Magical Images from the Moon's Garden!

          Save Our Congress from Moralistic Right-Wing Rubberstamp-ism.
          Vote Democratic, but hold their feet to the progressive fire...

          Whatever happened to the War Against Injustice and Poverty!
          End Terrorism? End Poverty!
        • 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 4 of 18 , Oct 31, 2002
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            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 5 of 18 , Oct 31, 2002
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              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 6 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
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                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.
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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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 7 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
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                  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 8 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
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                    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 9 of 18 , Nov 3, 2002
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                      --- 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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