Argentina Is In Big Trouble

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At one time, I must have watched a video about how Americans sentimental over Highway Gothic were opposed to the encroachment of Clearview on their roads.
How else can I explain it that YouTube suggested this video to me:
As I don't speak Spanish, I didn't watch the whole video, but I searched for a document that was shown in the video, finding that it was located at
In this manual of standards for road signage in Argentina, I found that the typeface specified for the signs was something called "Roadgeek 2005". That seemed like a rather odd name for a typeface officially designed for road signage. So I did some more searching, and found this web page
of the amateur font designer (and also a short-wave radio amateur) who, as a highway signage enthusiast, designed the typeface and prepared the fonts in question.
I downloaded them, and noted that the license explicitly disallows commercial use of the fonts, including, but not limited to, making actual highway signs with them. I suspect this stipulation was included to make it less likely that the people who made Highway Gothic and/or Clearview would sue him.
But that means that people can't make highway signs for Argentina without violating the terms of the license for the fonts for the specified typeface!




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  • Craig Eliason
    Craig Eliason Posts: 1,412
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    Weird story. 
    But I wonder if highway signage is "commercial" use, since it's not directly about making money.
  • JoyceKetterer
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    @Craig Eliason I had the same thought!  But, if I'm reading correctly, the EULA went ahead and defined commercial to clearly include highway signage.  That's probably the most inaccessible trick of legal writing.  You can define any word to mean anything you want for the purpose of the given contract. 
  • Craig Eliason
    Craig Eliason Posts: 1,412
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    Well, something tells me this guy didn't run his EULA by a lawyer.
  • Russell McGorman
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    ,Craig Eliason said:
    Weird story. 
    But I wonder if highway signage is "commercial" use, since it's not directly about making money.
    From my time as an in-house signage & wayfinding designer for a large provincially owned and operated public transit agency, I cannot see how ur use of fonts could ever have been treated as anything other than commercial. For one thing, the majority of design and production work gets contracted out to design agencies and sign shops, but at the end of the day, the work that's done in-house, while not be done for a profit, It's professional shop making signage for public consumption. I expect it would be pretty much the same in Argentina. 
  • Ray Larabie
    Ray Larabie Posts: 1,387
    edited April 2022
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    They should use this font which is based on the same design and is free for commercial use.
  • Dan Reynolds
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    I doubt Argentina is in trouble. Under what jurisdiction would a hobby font maker bring suit against the responsible transit authorities?
  • Russell McGorman
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    I doubt Argentina is in trouble. Under what jurisdiction would a hobby font maker bring suit against the responsible transit authorities?

    That would be the ICC, wouldn't it? :neutral:

    They should use this font which is based on the same design and is free for commercial use.
    I recall from around 2010 or 11, a parody proposal for a highway signage font for the EU which was scientifically distorted so that it would come into focus from a vehicle driving at 100 KpM. It may have been an April fools joke. 
  • John Savard
    John Savard Posts: 1,099
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    I doubt Argentina is in trouble. Under what jurisdiction would a hobby font maker bring suit against the responsible transit authorities?

    I have contacted the font designer, recommending that he amend his license so as to eliminate the issue.
    Why was the license like that? I think the reason is obvious: he wanted to protect himself from being sued by Terminal Design, the people who license the commercial ClearviewHwy typeface. Despite there apparently being pirated copies of it all over the Web - or just another looklike that violated their trademark.
    So I suggested removing the prohibition on commercial use, and just including a statement that this typeface is not an exact duplicate of existing U.S. authorized typefaces for highway signage, and is not recommended for use for highway signage as it would not be conformant with standards.
    But before someone starts trying to explain "sovereign immunity" to me, I should note that using a title that is somewhat of the nature of "clickbait" should not be held against me.
  • Rob Barba
    Rob Barba Posts: 86
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    I doubt Argentina is in trouble. Under what jurisdiction would a hobby font maker bring suit against the responsible transit authorities?
    Sadly, I'm going to agree with this.  A sovereign nation can (and will) ignore laws that don't suit their use all the time.  From medicinal patents to weapons designs, that's what they do.  And I don't think another nation is going to go to the WTO or WIPO (not the ICC) over something as "trivial" as a single font.

    I don't want to make this political, but sadly, that's the truth.  Granted, Argentina should have just commissioned a font like everyone else does, but a lot of politicos and bureaucrats tend to not think about these things.
  • Cristóbal Alarcón
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    Argentinian here.

    In all honesty, our government's negligent with way more important issues. I can't even grasp the idea of them worrying about if they accidentally broke a typeface licensing term.

    Whether they broke a law or not, they won't care.

  • PabloImpallari
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    We survive everything.. just like cockroaches:)