TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sun Dec 16 17:47:32 EST 2018






Sarkozy's agency violates font copyright

Third story from 2010 is reported by Mike Masnick. I quote the article: We've been highlighting how Nicolas Sarkozy -- who was the original strong supporter of "three strikes" proposals to kick people off the internet based on accusations (not convictions) -- and his political party have been caught time and time again infringing on the copyright of others. It looks like that's happening again in an even more embarrassing fashion. The organization that's been designated to deal with three strikes in France, Hadopi, unveiled a new logo... that used an unlicensed font, that had been created by France Telecom and had not been licensed for use by anyone else. Hadopi had to scramble and try to find a new font once called on this, and issued an "apology," but will it allow those accused of infringement online the right to "apologize" as well? These may seem like minor issues, but they're actually quite instructive. The point is that due to the way copyright law is set up, people infringe unintentionally all the time. Even the biggest defenders of copyright do so. And that is the problem with any sort of system that punishes people for something as minor as three infringements -- and it's even worse when its three accusations of infringement, rather than actual convictions. It creates a massive liability for the way everyone -- even copyright defenders -- do things every day. But, of course, the big powerful folks -- the ones who passed and support this law -- can just apologize and ignore the consequences. Everyone else? Good luck. [End of quote of Masnick's text]

References on the Hadopi case include this piece by François Krug which explains that the offending agency is Plan Créatif and reveals that the whistleblower, type designer Jeran-Baptiste Levée, pointed out that Hadopi was using Jean-François Porchez's font Bienvenue which was made exclusively for France Télécom 2000. Levée points out that the d and p were slightly modified and that the glyphs were slightly stretched horizontally. Apparently, in its corrected form, after the dust had settled on the affair, the Hadopi logo switched to the fonts FS Lola and Bliss.

As an afterthought: France Telecom itself has been sued multiple times for illegal business practices, including the 5.74 billion dollar suit by its former German partner, Mobilcom, in 2004 [BBC report].

Sarkozy's agency violates font copyright
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David and Goliath ⦿ Type design in France ⦿

file name: Jean Francois Porchez Bienvenue 2000

file name: Jean Francois Porchez Bienvenue 2000b

file name: Jean Francois Porchez Bienvenue 2000c

file name: Hadopi Font Scandal 2010

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