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ATypI and the Code Morale

The Code Morale was the reason Peignot set up the ATypI. It states that one of the aims of the Association Typographique Internationale is To fight by all means in its power against unauthorized copying; and to insist on the observance of industrial property laws and copyright legislation, and to uphold among its members the principles of professional ethics expressed in its moral code. [...] Members of the Association Typographique Internationale agree to honour the following Moral Code: Members consider it to be incompatible with their professional ethics to make a reproduction of another member's typeface, whether identical or slightly modified, irrespective of the medium, technique, form or size used. In 1986, Charles Bigelow complained: Members of ATypI agree to abide by a moral code that restricts plagiarism and other forms of depraved behavior (pertaining to typography). These are noble goals, but some members (especially corporate members) of ATypI, confronted with the pressures and opportunities of commercial reality, nevertheless plagiarize typefaces of fellow members, the moral code notwithstanding. Since ATypI is a voluntary organization, there is very little that can be done about most such plagiarism. Some years back, a world-famous type designer resigned from the ATypI Board of Directors in protest over the organization's flaccid attitude toward plagiarists among its ranks. He has since agreed to sit on the board again, but criticism of the organization's inability to prevent type rip-offs by its own members, not to mention by non-members, continues to be heard. Tension mounted during the free-for-all nineties, and finally, in 2004, with corruption at every level of industry and government at its peak, ATypI agrees that "the Moral Code of the Association Typographique Internationale" ("Code Morale") is no longer conforming to the Associations objectives and therefore decides to retire the Code Morale document without replacement.

ATypI and the Code Morale
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David and Goliath ⦿

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