Font Licensing: The Type Unite initiative

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Comments

  • Thomas CarlsenThomas Carlsen Posts: 20
    edited August 2016
    Thomas, remove my logo from that site. I never gave you permission to use Dunwich Type Founders IP. 
    It's very adult to write this, it's just a link on a website. James Pucket on Twitter:

    "Dunwich Type has no connection to the shady fuckers at Type Unite. I don’t even know who they are."

    We are students and graphic designers who want you to make money on your typefaces, so the next generation also have a workplace to be. Are we still "shady fuckers"?
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,733
    edited August 2016
    We are students and graphic designers who want you to make money on your typefaces, so the next generation also have a workplace to be. Are we still "shady fuckers"?
    Yup. I didn’t ask to be involved in whatever you’re doing. So keep me out of it.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 542
    edited August 2016
    Companies and individuals may only use or make copies of a published font for their own activities when they have a license and a receipt
    Thomas, where is your receipt for the use of the Raleway font? lol..
  • Companies and individuals may only use or make copies of a published font for their own activities when they have a license and a receipt
    Thomas, where is your receipt for the use of the Raleway font? lol..

    You find the license here.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,733
    To elaborate, Thomas, you aren’t necessarily doing anybody a favor by appointing yourself the white knight of font piracy. Anti-piracy organizations and shady IP law firms have an ugly history of using specious lawsuits, takedown letters, and even police raids to attack people who sometimes have no connection to copyright infringement. These groups, and the companies that fund them, aren’t popular in the business world. They’re not groups I want any kind of association with. So I don’t want my logo on your web site when someone I do business with wants to know why they’re being pestered about licensing fonts.
  • Hey, it looks like their promo video is a 2012 thesis from a Parsons graduate.
  • James MontalbanoJames Montalbano Posts: 959
    edited August 2016
    Please remove Terminal Design.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 542
    edited August 2016
    Companies and individuals may only use or make copies of a published font for their own activities when they have a license and a receipt
    Thomas, where is your receipt for the use of the Raleway font? lol..

    You find the license here.
    I did not asked for the license, I asked for your receipt... where is it?
  • To elaborate, Thomas, you aren’t necessarily doing anybody a favor by appointing yourself the white knight of font piracy. Anti-piracy organizations and shady IP law firms have an ugly history of using specious lawsuits, takedown letters, and even police raids to attack people who sometimes have no connection to copyright infringement. These groups, and the companies that fund them, aren’t popular in the business world. They’re not groups I want any kind of association with. So I don’t want my logo on your web site when someone I do business with wants to know why they’re being pestered about licensing fonts.
    Your response to my suggestion was encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to point out the negative sides. The logo is removed, It's enough to ask once.
  • Renaming the page “links” does not make this any less bad.
    We have just started working, you should give us some time to establish.
  • This is so cool, together against font piracy, you will not want others to steal from you, will you?
  • Hey, it looks like their promo video is a 2012 thesis from a Parsons graduate.
    Yes, we are so lucky to have the agreement to use this beautiful video on our website.
  • @Thomas Carlsen. Firstly, thank you for talking to us. We're a community, and your initiative revolves around a key aspect of type culture. But, you do not seem to receiving a positive first response – I'll try to not reiterate the comments above. How well do you know the type scene? What is your background in license enforcement – do you know of its mechanics? What is your team's background in legal consultation for fonts?

    Volunteering, although well intentioned, can do more harm than good. If you want to make a positive difference, I urge you to read the comments here very carefully. 

    Your initiative seems poorly informed of the culture that it means to support. Licensing follows a set of values. Font licensing is particularly specialized and niche. If you are not educated in its nuances, your activity may reinforce unintentional piracy, not reverse it. 

    Business and media accepts anyone waving the "expert" flag too openly, particularly in niche areas such as this. That is a massive risk to your goals – please ask if you are not clear on this.

    You're right, font licensing is poorly understood. It is not explicitly taught by many university courses. It may be treated as an exception from the normal business processes in procurement, legal and licensing. For that reason, I am not convinced that a mail-out PDF placard is sufficient. Who is going to be receiving this email? On a day-to-day work basis, this email is out-of-context and may arrive directly in the spam mail.

    There are numerous ways that you could tackle font piracy. What is the most effective? 

    Dear @Katy Mawhood , thanks for your reply. Type Unite and the knowledge to font license have a close association to my family. My grandmother Astrid Margrete Carlsen was Norway's first female typographer with training in Chicago, and with great grandfather by her side they both worked in the Norwegian newspaper called Aftenposten. Here comes the knowledge of fonts licensing, we understand the principles.

    I am Thomas Carlsen, a graphic designer based in Oslo, Norway. I've done some research at universities and the topic of font license is absent. “When font license is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, type cannot manifest”. Yes, Type Unite is supposed to be simple, so simple that we only sending a physical poster to universities and follow up with a phone call. Only then we can learn students and graphic artists in general to buy the artwork that you all produce, not steal it on the web without paying.

    Yes, we meet these challenges openly, our website with concepts of right and wrong will continue and the children above is welcome to take a peek. Please be kind to these voluntary curios students, they’ll find a way so young talents can have a future in this business. Thank you for your thoughts on the topic.

  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 485
    edited August 2016
    @Thomas Carlsen I think a great deal of the push back you are getting is because you are acting without communicating with us.  I know you think your motives are pure and so therefor we should be happy you're doing this work.  

    But we can't read your mind.  

    The way to have handled this so that we would have felt comfortable was to have reached out to us and to ask us if we wanted you to do this in our names.  Each company reserves the right to choose when its legal interest in pursued in infringement and piracy matters and not any third party.

    You stepped on a lot of toes and set off a lot of alarm bells (to mix metaphors).

    You ask us to give you some time to get up and running and not judge but you didn't give us any such time to get to know you.   You could have launched the site privately and pitched it to us but you did not.  Your site's use of images that look stock and a young man who is not you has shades of a lot of scams we have heard of.  Assuming this is accidental, if you had communicated with some of us before you went live we would have naturally helped you to refine your site so that you would have removed these sorts of things.  

    The use of the word "members", to highlight something that really caused panic, may have been a translation error and if so we would have helped you to understand that it was not appropriate.  

    You still haven't explained how you are related to this law firm which is something that makes me very uncomfortable.
  • @Thomas Carlsen As others have pointed out, the best way now for you to get some trust back would be to simply remove the links tab all together.  None of those foundries, to my knowledge, have opted in.  It is now a list of folks who have yet to opt out.  But also, as I pointed out earlier, the list is a big part of why your site has attracted suspicion.  There is honestly no reason to list foundries (and there is some reason not to) if you are not trying to create the false impression that you are speaking on behalf of the foundries who you do list.  
  • @Thomas Carlsen I’ll follow what many others have said before me: Please immediately delete the Grilli Type logo and any text implying any sort of connection between you / your initiative / Grilli Type from your site and any other materials. We have nothing to do with you or the initiative, and any text implying otherwise is wrong.
  • @Thomas Carlsen To at least give you a bit of feedback on your idea: piracy happening at universities doesn’t bother me much. Trying to educate students on type licensing is okay, but going after any of them legally for using unlicensed type in educational, non-commercial work is silly and not at all what my company stands for.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,642
    edited August 2016
    “On the font designers’ behalf, Type Unite sends notification when we become aware of unwanted copyright violations... We encourage companies…to buy the actual font... ”
    Sounds like a vigilante funding model. Type Unite ropes a bad guy and gets a cut of the payoff. 

    But how would they know whether fonts are correctly licensed? That would require proprietary information. So, more like gun for hire. 

  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 485
    edited August 2016
    @Nick Shinn they can't collect without our permission. We have the discretion to pursue a violation and the discretion to settle it.   I agree with everything @Thierry Blancpain said.   I see that you removed our logo and thank you for your promptness aw.   If there is anything else that implies  that we are associated with you please remove it.   Any such implication is fictitious.   
  • @Thomas Carlsen Please remove the Bold Monday logo too. Thanks.
    Yes, it's done. Welcome back!

    @Thomas Carlsen: It is 12 hours later now, and the Bold Monday logo has not been removed (and no, it is not a cache issue).

    Please remove NOW.
  • @Thomas Carlsen Please remove the Fontsmith logotype from the website and any other related networks. Thank you.
  • I strongly agree: if Type Unite ever expects to work productively with the type community, they must immediately remove links to all foundries who have not specifically asked to be included.  Using our names and marks without permission makes nonsense of their claim to be defenders of our intellectual property.

     
  • @Frode Bo Helland I was naively hoping to turn this around into something positive, but yes, you're right. There's very little reason to trust this organization, although I still don't get what they would be getting out of this.

    @Thomas Carlsen Please remove the Bureau Roffa logo, and, as others have mentioned, please remove ALL logo's and/or references/links to foundries that you have no explicit permission from. Also, if you are sincere about your intentions, which I am starting to doubt, I strongly recommend that you take the website offline, and rethink this whole thing from the start, IN COLLABORATION with foundries (this forum seems a great place to start). Sadly, I believe you've already ruined your chances with a lot of foundries by now.

    On a more general note: If it requires legal and typedesign experience to teach students about type licenses, than we as typedesigners have made our licenses too complex (I am afraid this is indeed the case). A simple 'read the license' should be enough, since a license ought to be understandable by the person obtaining it. We can't expect customers to hire 'font licensing experts' to understand what they're buying.


  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 211
    edited August 2016
    @Thomas Carlsen
    My grandmother Astrid Margrete Carlsen was Norway's first female typographer with training in Chicago, and with great grandfather by her side they both worked in the Norwegian newspaper called Aftenposten. Here comes the knowledge of fonts licensing, we understand the principles.
    Your grandmother's experience is not yours. Font licensing models are constantly evolving. I cannot see how this gives you the required depth of knowledge.
    I've done some research at universities and the topic of font license is absent.
    The topic of font licensing is not absent from design research, but not all resources will be readily available or easy to find. Furthermore, legal disputes are often tackled under non-disclosure agreement (NDA); this information is not available for public use.
    Type Unite is supposed to be simple…
    Is international intellectual property law simple?
    Sending a physical poster to universities and follow up with a phone call.
    This type of unsolicited communication is legally ambiguous at best, with specific terms whereby it is prohibited and enforced that vary from country to country. UK Anti-spam law is enforced by the Information Commissioner and breaches can lead to a fine of up to £5,000.
    Please be kind to these voluntary curios students, they’ll find a way so young talents can have a future in this business.
    Please do not disillusion students. There are positive ways forward, but an email placard and a website that has not acquired that right permissions is a poor approach. Please read the comments here and follow their guidance. Please delete the links to all foundries that have not explicitly opted in.

  • Malcolm WoodenMalcolm Wooden Posts: 57
    edited August 2016
    @Thomas Carlsen

    This just seems so wrong.

    If advice and enforcement of font licensing is going to be overseen by an accepted body then surely that body should be at the centre of the industry (such as ATypI or TDC), not from a third party whose motives seem questionable.

    I really cannot see how either foundries or end-users could ever recognise your authority. Are you are going to threaten legal proceedings in a similar way that some law firms send threatening letters to small-time downloaders of music and video hoping to catch someone out and make some money?

    Please remove the DTP Types logo from your site and any other publicity materials.

  • Dusan JelesijevicDusan Jelesijevic Posts: 46
    edited August 2016
    Dear Thomas, please kindly remove our logo (Tour de Force) as well from the Links page. I just saw it there!

    I gave you my support about whole idea, but I realize now after reading all these new facts here that you did many things on your own, without knowledge of all foundries/designers. Place yourself in this position and imagine to see your name/ company's logo used without your knowledge and to see yourself as a member of anything you haven't joined. The way you renamed Members to Links tells the all story since we never signed any membership or anything similar. If you wanted credibility for the idea, you should ask for it each one and I'm sure you would get a lot of approvements. 

    Thanks and wish you all the best with the project, but not on this way.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 485
    edited August 2016
    I'm getting concerned that he has stopped respoding. Are those of you who asked in the last 12 hours or so seeing that your logos have been removed?

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