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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: Font or Font Software

    Can you provide links? It sounds really strange to mix information and artwork in one term...
    Sure, here's two examples from earlier:

    1) Commercial type
    For the purposes of this Agreement, “Font Software” shall be defined as the design of the Fonts together with the Font Software which, when used generates the typeface, typographic designs and, if applicable, ornaments or other designs. 

    2) Type Together
    License to use the Font Software (“Font[s]”) and the designs embodied therein together with any accompanying documentation

  • Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    Opinions welcomed.

    I'm always looking to communicate font software / encoding to non-type people. The objective is to differentiate "font software" from an "image of lettering", clearly and quickly with minimal jargon. The term "User Interface" (UI) enables a quick analogy to the visual setting underlying software in a phone or an app, which most people are familiar with. But, is it fair to describe the typeface design as the UI of the font software?

    I initially got the idea from reading this passage:

    ‘a book can be considered a user interface to its content… a technical research paper can be seen as a user interface, that to succeed must take account of its intended user community…almost anything can be seen as a user interface; doing so will highlight certain issues of design and representation that might otherwise remain obscure,’ – GOGUEN, J., ‘An Introduction to Algebraic Semiotics, with Applications to User Interface Design’, in Computation for metaphors, analogy and agents, ed. by C.L. Nehaniv, LNAI, 1562 (Berlin: Springer, 1999), pp. 242–91
  • Re: Licensing Unit: Devices vs Users

    To follow from @Johannes Neumeier's excellent point, what is a CPU today? Our font management software is setup to measure license count by user. To add any device that could be deemed as a CPU would be a significant headache.

    EULA definitions affect things, particularly when well-considered. CPU licensing makes sense for some businesses.

    If a EULA gives a licensee one option, it will likely be interpreted according to their "best-case" scenario (e.g. CPU, Workstation, Device, User… some other thing). It's amazing how many assumptions are made, quite a minefield. Identifying the specific details with licensors is often no less befuddling, time-consuming and riddled with uncertainty on both sides.

    E.g. It's nice to chat about the details, but it doesn't always reflect the reality. In the case of legal dispute, lawyers will argue both sides – not the "right" side.