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Derivative works: comp.fonts discussion

Taken from comp.fonts, April 15-18, 1999:

André Moreau (Belgium), who wanted to make a derivative work of a Microsoft font: I have tried to reach microsoft.com to have a look on licensing conditions but never found the right page. During this time (2 days) I have began to create a new arial narrow font. using the original one. I transform each character, reducing the number of points of Bezier curves and saving each one by one. It seems possible to do that in a reasonable amount of time. So many thanks for your help.

Rich Webb (Norfok, VA): Not recomended. Please read and understand the material at http://www.typeright.com concerning derivative works. And the associated legal actions.

Jeff Rankin-Lowe: I'm not being a smart ass and this isn't a troll. I truly want to understand this. How is it that the designers of Arial, Geneva, Swiss, etc get away with copying Helvetica, yet someone who changes a font so that it's different (I am not sure by how much) is warned against doing so?

Rick Harrison: You're not part of the cartel. Become a big corporation and you will be able to steal typeface designs from the greatest living and dead designers with impunity. But if you are just an individual. you will be warned (e.g., by the odious Typeright website) not to copy a single curve from an existing font. (I'm surprised they haven't patented the very idea of using curves and straight lines in fonts...)

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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html