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Meshworks vs Toyota

A famous court case that may be relevant to type design and the question whether fonts are copyrightable in the United States. Richard Fink explains (and I quote):

In that case, the court held that vector depictions of Toyota cars - exactly like fonts are depictions of typefaces - are "slavish imitations" of the cars by digital means and therefore not copyrightable. The appeals court upheld the lower courts ruling, (a good thing for the "strength" of the precedent), and denied the plaintiffs a copyright on the vector-based depictions of the cars. The decision was even humorously apologetic with a "nice try, but sorry, you're screwed" kind of tone to it.

The court acknowledged that there was choice, acknowledged that there was great labor, but still, in line with clear precedents, like Feist, in essence told the plaintiffs that their copyright registration was good for nothing.

All you have to do is substitute the word "typeface" for "cars" and the reasoning will lead you to exactly the same result. Eldred doesn't even enter into it, but it is, I guess, additional bad news.

Meshworks has been written about quite a bit.

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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