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Katy Mawhood


Katy Mawhood
Last Active
  • Re: Two more cases against pirates

    I skip between what is "good practice" and what is helpful.

    1) Real life examples are helpful to see!
    2) Name and shame.

    The licensees here may not frequent this forum, but some of us do. Some of us consider ourselves part of the font community. I would not want to see my employer named and shamed, and I see first hand how difficult it is to assure adequate licensing throughout complex workflows.

    Joyce shared a recent talk for Extensis customers, a short quote:
    Font licensing is scary. You may even think that font licensors are scary, that licenses are filled with contradictions and traps written by greedy people who want to trick you into more later. You know what, many sell-side people also think that font licensing is scary. They wonder if customers are just a bunch of greedy people trying to get away with as much as possible for as little as possible.
    It talks of the five habits of highly ineffective font licensing:
    1. No style guide
    2. No Font Server
    3. Too much delegation to contractors
    4. Lack of legal vetting
    5. Thinking all fonts are licensed the same
    This is good guidance, and I agree with it. But, it is difficult to practice across a global organization, where there are thousands of autonomous employees who are trying to fulfill their own objectives. Misuse is uncommon, but it is still misuse. Misuse on a single product can quickly grow into a serious violation. This is an example of licensees trying their best and failing. Some view as laziness, some as honest mistakes.
  • Re: Two more cases against pirates

    I would expect a *book publisher* to be acutely aware of the legal status of the fonts they use. You can't really feign ignorance of a font EULA when your business is centered around printing text.
    We don't feign ignorance, we are ignorant of some usages. I spend my time discovering new instances of fonts being introduced to the workflow, and finding ways to address the risk of those fonts  – either license or remove – before publishing. We don't capture everything.
    Even if you subcontract cover design to independent subcontractors, it's the job of your legal team to make sure they haven't unlawfully used a copyrighted font or a photograph.
    Not the legal team, a small permissions team or someone who does it on the side of a full-time role. There are so many people buying in products, producing new products, subcontracting products, republishing old products across locations, with different team sizes who speak different languages, live in different time zones, and have different attitudes and cultures.

    Book publishers don't get tingly feelings for font misuse in printed text – it's not a magic skill, but something that that we must labour over.
  • Re: Foundries Allowing Modification

    How much does yet another digital Garamond really belong to the guy who mostly wrapped outlines around existing ideas?
    If that typeface is released as font software, potentially quite a bit. I would consider an OT Var Garamond to be an advance its digital predecessor. Revivals are a different discussion to modification permissions.
    Here again positioning typefaces as essentially software is misleading.
    Font software models software licensing, rather than content tool permissions. How is that misleading? It's a modification clause, typeface and software are linked.
  • Re: Licensing that allows a small company to send the fonts to their service providers.

    For corporate typefaces, I'm under the impression that a license for supplier usage is often agreed. For everything else, most font licenses model software licensing - with the exception of emoji fonts that sometimes model image permissions.

    In the communication of "what a font is", there's a choice for you. That choice will frame how the user view fonts, as they try to box it into something that they are more familiar with. Technology does not solve license management, particularly outside a locked down system (i.e. an entirely different company). 

    If the initial price points for licensing a font were higher, I might think differently. But, they're low. It affects the wider conversation and user assumptions. The brave idea of spending money on a high quality product becomes an education piece.

    So yes it makes sense, price accordingly.
  • Re: Best Foundry Sites

    Thinking out loud... I'd be interested whether trial licensing influences the use of online testing features.