Font Licensing: The Type Unite initiative

Thomas CarlsenThomas Carlsen Posts: 20
edited August 2016 in Type Business

Hi, my name is Thomas Carlsen and I'm a graphic designer and founder of Type Unite. We voluntary inform universities, companies and graphic designers about the importance of font licensing by sending out this free license placard. Typeface piracy is a big problem (Steven Heller 2015, Wired Magazine) and 60% of us are font pirates (Jim Kidwell 2013, Extensis). Type Unite have listed "all" the foundries in the world on our webpage so students and graphic designers easily can find and buy the fonts from their favourite foundry. We have been given this video from Danielle Hall for use on our site, worth a peek! We support the intellectual work and wish more pepole could buy fonts instead of downloading it illegally from pirate sites. What are your professional thougths about this voluntary iniative?

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and support with us, we support you back, always!

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Comments

  • You ‘voluntarily inform’ universities, companies and designers about licensing. Which ones, who, and why? You use a huge set of foundry names, and it sure comes across like an endorsement. Have you asked any of the many labeled foundries whether they want you to pre-emptively police license enforcement for them? I try to assume the best in people, and sending them Big Org-style ‘license reminders’ has the feeling of doing the opposite.

    I’m curious to hear from @JoyceKetterer and @Katy Mawhood in particular, as well.
  • Hi Rob and thanks for your thoughts! As graphic designers, we didn't learn about license at university, no one does, so why dont make a voluntary change? We do not work on behalf of the listed foundries, it's just a site with links so the students and graphic designers has a better overview (mayby we should edit some text to be more clear of what we do). Our hope is to secure better income for the foundries, only then, new young talents can see this as a future workplace.
  • That sadly does not answer my first question. Who do you intend to, presumably out of the blue, send your ‘license reminder’, and why? What, in short, do you intend to actually do about it?
  • The majority of graphic design students today have violated creative and intellectual property law. Font piracy has become a habit for most students as they are uneducated about legal practice, causing them to have a general lack of awareness and appreciation for the value of typeface design. Moreover, there is often a lack of leadership and ownership demonstrated by the University towards solving this issue. Do you now understand why we do this? We want font license education in classes and start with the universities where students should learn more about this topic, but they don't.

  • Hi Jacques and thanks for your thoughts! We are on the case. Have a nice day!

  • This sounds like a student project that means well but doesn't really understand how business works.  Thank you for trying. So please take this with all the possible kindness you can insert into typed messages when I say that you are not signaling well.  I first heard of you yesterday when a friend tweeted me that your site looks like a scam.
  • Re: your page with all the foundry logos. The random order doesn't work well. Better would be an alphabetical order listing in plain text. Many people won't bother to take the time to search through it as it is now.
  • Please don't let the negative feedback stop your efforts, because what you're trying to do is very important. I can appreciate the effort you've put in to this, and if you could let me (and others, for that matter) know more precisely how and to whom you intent to bring your message across, it might be possible to actually 'unite' and work together towards something sustainable. Until that time, I suggest you clearly state above the logos on the 'links' page that you are not affiliated in any way with the listed foundries. Thank you!
  • edited August 2016
    Thomas called me yesterday, after I sent him an e-mail asking them to remove our logo and name from all their material asap. I also told him how we felt about this: They are not honest about who they are and what they are trying to do. After pushing him, Thomas told me the project is initiated by a Norwegian law firm called Grette. This is not revealed anywhere on their site. I can only presume Type Unite is not the claimed initiative to help, but rather a shady attempt to exploit. The content is “borrowed” from multiple sources, and they couldn’t be bothered to pay for their own fonts. Between the website, their unsolicited “dear colleagues” mail, and Thomas registering in the phone catalogue as “Typeface Authority Thomas Carlsen”, I think it is pretty clear Type Unite is not a serious project.

    @Jasper de Waard: Please don’t encourage shitty behaviour!


  • @Frode Bo Helland did he remove your logo when you asked? I'm wondering if we need contact our attorney about this.   
  • Jens KutilekJens Kutilek Posts: 113
    edited August 2016

    This photo on the Type Unite website is from @Andreas%20Frohloff ’s calligraphy workshop at Typo Berlin. I wonder if it is used with permission?

  • edited August 2016
    PS: Thomas is not the young guy featured in most of their pictures. It is somewhat of a mystery to me how someone who has never participated in the Norwegian type scene are doing type lectures & receiving diplomas for their work. I was also surprised by their use of the term “skriftforlag”, which was a completely new word we coined when we launched Monokrom.

    [Picture removed, as per Thomas’ request!]
  • edited August 2016
    @JoyceKetterer He removed ours, yes, but then someone else told me via e-mail Thomas wouldn’t remove their logo today. I don’t know what to make of this.
  • @Frode Bo Helland do you think we'd have luck speaking only English? Or do I need to ask a favor of you to speak to him on our behalf? 
  • edited August 2016
    @JoyceKetterer I’d prefer to stay out of it, sorry. English should be fine.
  • Together against font piracy? Well, we are new to this and we have noticed that the industry is a bit muddled. We have decided to change the name from members/we support to links after your comments. Any firm with respect for themselves has a lawyer. Remember, we are only humans and students who think outside the box, be kind and respect that someone is working hard and voluntarily so you can earn money on what you produce.
  • Thomas CarlsenThomas Carlsen Posts: 20
    edited August 2016

    This photo on the Type Unite website is from @Andreas Frohloff’s calligraphy workshop at Typo Berlin. I wonder if it is used with permission?

    Yes, that is correct. With the right photo credit under the picture. http://www.typeunite.com/copyright.html
  • @JoyceKetterer He removed ours, yes, but then someone else told me via e-mail Thomas wouldn’t remove their logo today. I don’t know what to make of this.
    Yes, that is also correct. We are on the case to delete six other foundries, we respect others' choices. Have you deleted on Twitter as we agreed?
  • @Thomas Carlsen  please remove Darden Studio's logo as well 
  • Yes, that is correct. With the right photo credit under the picture. http://www.typeunite.com/copyright.html
    Ah, ok, thanks, there it is. I saw the photo only on the homepage, where it appears in the carousel at the top.
  • @Thomas Carlsen  please remove Darden Studio's logo as well 
    Yes, off course. Welcome back!
  • @Thomas Carlsen I just noticed my logo/link (Retype) is also there so, please, remove it.
  • @Thomas Carlsen I just noticed my logo/link (Retype) is also there so, please, remove it.
    Yup, done. Welcome back!
  • @Thomas Carlsen Please remove the Bold Monday logo too. Thanks.
  • PS: Thomas is not the young guy featured in most of their pictures. It is somewhat of a mystery to me how someone who has never participated in the Norwegian type scene are doing type lectures & receiving diplomas for their work. I was also surprised by their use of the term “skriftforlag”, which was a completely new word we coined when we launched Monokrom.
    Please delete it, not ok for our students, we had a deal, also on Twitter.
  • @Thomas Carlsen Please remove the Bold Monday logo too. Thanks.
    Yes, it's done. Welcome back!
  • I'm reminded of Trump's insistence that he'll unify the GOP while a majority of the party finds him distasteful…
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