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  • @JoyceKetterer No worries. I think you are adding something valuable, so I don’t think you necessarily need to change it up. It’ probably just my expectations that were not calibrated properly.
  • Jeremy DooleyJeremy Dooley Posts: 50
    edited July 2019
    What should foundries keep in mind, license wise, when allowing for free downloads or free weights? What about offering a few weights free via Google Fonts?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,854
    What about offering a few weights free via Google Fonts?
    To be released via Google Fonts, the weights would need to be published under SIL's Open Font License (OFL). Once you've done that, you can't really ever restrict anyone's use of those weights — including development and OFL licensing of derivative fonts — or 'take them back'. So it's something to think about very carefully. I can imagine that making some weights available that way could be a way to generate commercial license sales of additional weights and styles, but you'd have to consider whether that's worth the longterm trade-off of making those fonts libre.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,862
    What should foundries keep in mind, license wise, when allowing for free downloads or free weights? What about offering a few weights free via Google Fonts?

    If you have a commercial font, I suspect issues around naming would make it impractical to offer some weights via Google Fonts. These days Google fonts normally require that you NOT have a Reserved Font Name with your Open Font License terms. So, as best as I can figure, in effect you couldn’t use the same name for the “free weights” as for your trademarked family, and keep your trademark. Something would have to give.

    Less critical minor concern: If you license some weights via OFL, a third party could, if they wished, create their own additional weights from those, and make them available through OFL.
  • Fortunately I can still answer the question about "free"
  • @JoyceKetterer No worries. I think you are adding something valuable, so I don’t think you necessarily need to change it up. It’ probably just my expectations that were not calibrated properly.
    Hi Frode, were you referring to this thread? Because as far as I have read, on Twitter the discussion has been varied (and very off-topic thanks to Hrant, haha… :D ) but interesting and surely not about Darden Studio.
  • What should foundries keep in mind, license wise, when allowing for free downloads or free weights? What about offering a few weights free via Google Fonts?

    If you have a commercial font, I suspect issues around naming would make it impractical to offer some weights via Google Fonts. These days Google fonts normally require that you NOT have a Reserved Font Name with your Open Font License terms. So, as best as I can figure, in effect you couldn’t use the same name for the “free weights” as for your trademarked family, and keep your trademark. Something would have to give.

    Less critical minor concern: If you license some weights via OFL, a third party could, if they wished, create their own additional weights from those, and make them available through OFL.
    OK, this rules out the whole thing for me. LOL :D
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 601
    Dear Joyce:
    Can lettering artworks be protected by copyright law?
    I'm not a lawyer, but I have heard the answer to this one.

    It's no.

    In the United States, it used to be possible to protect type designs with design patents, but that apparently doesn't work any more. (Until recently, computer fonts did have copyright protection as software, but recent legislation vitiated that.)

    In most other countries, protection for type designs is available. This protection, however, is for a shorter term than copyright. Whether this protection is considered a special form of copyright, or a form of patent, or something else probably depends on the country. (A computer font, however, unlike the design of the typeface, does have copyright protection, but that just will force pirates to do a little extra work.)
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 601
    But generally, I personally do not think that books in PDFs should be considered as eBooks for the purposes of licensing. Yes, there are plenty of books that are sold as PDFs, but “eBooks” of books seem to me to be dynamic (the text reflows to suit the device the reader is using, as well as the reading device), while a PDF does not do that. Nevertheless, many font providers – in their descriptions of their eBook licenses – include PDFs there. Moreover, they often do not mention PDFs anywhere else. Even if one is going to view “books” sold as PDFs as an eBook in terms of licensing, that PDF seems to be a different kind of animal to me than, for example, the instructional manual for a new wireless keyboard that an electronics company might have on its site as a free download. Yet, for some foundries, that instruction manual needs the same eBook license a novel in PDF form would need.
    It is true that a PDF document doesn't behave like a Kindle document. As you note, the text doesn't flow. It is sort of like a digital equivalent of a paper document, intended to have the faults as well as the virtues of paper.

    I don't see how that difference is relevant, though, to how the document is licensed to the reader. However, looking more carefully at what you've written, you appear to be talking about the type of license for the fonts used in making the E-book.

    I suppose you could say that since the text can be reflowed, the reader is able to "use" the font, while with a PDF, the font is as removed from the user as if the book were on paper. However, in both cases:

    • there is a risk that an extraction program could get the font from the book, and
    • in normal use, the font can't be used to print any text supplied by the user, it is only able to present the text in the book.

    Thus, while there is a distinction, it does not appear to me that there would be any cases where a font vendor would find it relevant, and grant more liberal licenses to use a font in a PDF as opposed to an E-book of a format with reflow. Instead, from most font vendors' viewpoints, there would be no material difference between the two types of format.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,862
    edited July 2019
    Dear Joyce:
    Can lettering artworks be protected by copyright law?
    I'm not a lawyer, but I have heard the answer to this one.

    It's no.

    In the United States, it used to be possible to protect type designs with design patents, but that apparently doesn't work any more. (Until recently, computer fonts did have copyright protection as software, but recent legislation vitiated that.)
    The question was about “lettering,” not fonts. But you answered about fonts.



    In the United States, it used to be possible to protect type designs with design patents, but that apparently doesn't work any more.
    What evidence do you have for this? I believe this to be false.
    (Until recently, computer fonts did have copyright protection as software, but recent legislation vitiated that.)
    There has been no such “recent legislation.” The US copyright office seems to have made a policy decision, but it has not been clearly communicated as such.
  • a few notes:

    @Jeremy Dooley I just tweeted something (@ljoycek) in response to your question.

    @John Savard I deduce from the fact you answered your own question that you are not trying to pose a question for me to answer on twitter. 

    @Thomas Phinney mostly gave the answers I would have given.  This is a big topic Addressed elsewhere on this board) So, there's a little nuance and governing law issues around enforcement that I could add if one thought you actually wanted an answer.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 601
    edited July 2019
    a few notes:

    @John Savard I deduce from the fact you answered your own question that you are not trying to pose a question for me to answer on twitter.
    The deduction is correct, but the premises seem to be off. I answered some other people's questions - or replied to a comment that wasn't really a question. I don't recall asking any questions, even to answer them myself.

    However, Thomas Phinney improved on my answers.
  • I guess I didn't see it when someone else asked 
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