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Tom Murphy versus Agfa

Tom Murphy from Carnegie-Mellon University wrote a simple free program to change the embed bit in a truetype font to allow his own fonts to be embedded in documents. Paul F. Stack, a Chicago-based lawyer representing Agfa and ITC objected to Tom's program because it could be used to change the embedding bits on their fonts. Apostrophe, never at a loss for words, has this to say: "Ack... those folks never stop. Obviously the lawyers must have told Agfa that they could smell CMU money in this, so it would be worth a shot. Now it's "you can't release a software because it *can* be used to do something". This is pretty much like saying that a company cannot manufacture pencils because the pencils can be used to poke people's eyes. By that same logic, Microsoft is breaking terrorism laws by releasing Microsoft Word, because the word processor can be used to type out bomb-constructing manuals, and Adobe is breaking decency laws by releasing Photoshop, because it can be used to put the president's head on a naked female's body. Trying to back this argument with legal code is even more disturbing." And Tim Murray adds: "He could really infuriate the lawyers by removing the utility, but then following up by adding instructions on which two bits to edit using a hex editor." So, if Tom ever removes his program, I will volunteer my site for it. McGill's lawyers will maked minced meat out of Agfa.

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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