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I've handed this over to a lawyer in Germany who specializes in copyright, trademark and software licensing. Thanks to all who replied to my original post. I will keep everyone here updated as new developments happen.
JH y u no link?
And, all legal software protection, and all property law whatsoever, really is just court appointed monopoly to something or other, ain't it?
Well, that's good then no? Futura cannot be a monopoly, because it has protection with no end date.
@Thomas Phinney who wrote:
"But your phrasing 'unassailable precedent supporting the notion that fonts are not copyrightable' is a stretch"
No it's not, IMHO. The sentence in my post that contains the phrase you quoted has an URL to an article that refers to multiple court decisions and once you pile all of those decisions on top of each other, so to speak, they make the idea of actually winning a court case based on the copyright infringement of a font a total non-starter.
Thomas, really... in the absence of absolutely no case law to favor the idea that outlines of shapes that, in and of themselves cannot be copyrighted and by their nature must be slavish reproductions of those shapes, I ask you: do you think you could win an infringement suit anywhere in the country?
You can't, and that's why legal tussles over fonts are so few and far between. Do you know of ANY court case based on fonts being copyrightable that has been brought and actually gone to a decision?
FYI - The Bridgeman Art Library decision was really the death knell. And it had a lot of precedential value for two reasons: the first, is that it was well-reasoned and easy to comprehend. (How can a slavish reproduction of a work of art in the public domain - produced mechanically, through photography - be copyrightable as a new work?) and second, that it was decided in a New York court, New York being the place where cases involving museums and artwork and textual infringement usually land so even lower court decisions will sometimes take on the air of Appeals Court decisions because of the higher level of legal expertise assumed to have been brought to bear due to the location.
SSI is an old case (1992, I think?) that, at the time, got blown up way out of proportion for a variety of motives. SSI was an unpublished opinion with no value as citable precedent. It was, at that time, a straw to grasp for people eager to deter what they deemed piracy. People eager to spread the word that suing over font copyright was a doable proposition.
And the judge's comment in the case that purports that because there is "choice" involved in the selection of points the Bezier outlines are, therefore, protectable expression separate and apart from the typeface they depict, has had it's logical legs knocked out from under it in other later citable cases. (Feist, Apple v Microsoft)
I could go into more detail, but this is enough. SSI is a non-factor. You can't even cite it in a brief.
While I gotcha - how does one go about being a beta tester?
We do give a definition of "software" in our EULA:
1. "Software" means the current version of the machine-readable object code of the computer program contained in this package (which may include digitally encoded, machine readable, scalable outline font data as encoded in special format) and all documentation accompanying this package or provided electronically with the program.