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Typotheque vs Rick Santorum: Typophile discussion [Richard Fink]

Richard Fink points out that those who merely visited the Santorum site while the fonts were being used (allegedly) are being characterized as infringers and the defendant in the case is being asked to provide IP addresses and other identifying information. [...] The suit is a slap in the typeface of every web developer and every web user everywhere. According to the suit, if I had visited Santorum's site during the period those fonts were included in the @font-face rules, I'm an infringer because my browser cached them.

Fink recommends that Typotheque be blacklisted until the text of the suit is amended (which won't happen). He also is not at a loss of words for Frank Martinez, Typotheque's lawyer: this suit seems more like a bottom-feeding IP lawyer trying to use the legal costs of defending against a complaint to extract a quick settlement. As was done, successfully I've heard - but I don't know the settlement amount - by Martinez when he represented the Font Bureau against NBC. The real pirates are the ones who know how to craftily use the legal system to their benefit.

He adds: Monitoring and targeting deep pocket defendants goes on in the copyright industry all the time.

And finally, he takes a stab at Typotheque (Seems like a much better case for sticking with free fonts and avoiding commercial fonts altogether. Why pay Typotheque's prices when you can get more and more good looking, well crafted fonts for free or nearly free?) and sticks a machete in Extensis's belly by reminding people that, unlike claims made by Extensis in its product desscription, Extensis' product [Universal Type Server] won't protect you from mistakes that lie outside it's reach. Or a misunderstanding of the license terms.

My own take: while I largely agree with Fink, I think that he forgot to mention a key point, **the** key point: the repeated use by Martinez of the phrase "font software" for a simple font---which is just a file with data---is objectionable. Lawyers like Martinez and the companies he represents keep on using this phrase so that hopefully, after having read this distortion often enough, by osmosis, judges will believe that fonts are software, and that as a result, just like real software, fonts can start receiving copyright protection. Fonts are not software.

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file name: Richard Fink Type Con 2016







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