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Font Clone Pirates

Font Clone Pirates — Carter Scholz writes, "I’d like to add something to Mark Nutter’s review of SoftKey’s KeyFonts package in TidBITS-146. Mark writes, "…the fonts aren’t the genuine fonts from the original designer. Rather, each font is a clone of the original." This means, of course, that SoftKey is not paying royalties to the designer of the font. Although this practice is technically legal in the USA (one of the few countries in which type fonts are not protected by copyright law), it is ethically bankrupt. A well-designed font can take man-years of effort. Hermann Zapf, the designer of Palatino, Optima, and many other beautiful fonts, from whom SoftKey has stolen their "Palamino," "Optim," and "Chancery" has long attempted to educate type users on this point. From the designer’s viewpoint, a "clone" is even worse than outright theft, because the clone is usually a poor copy that corrupts the designer’s work while depriving him of compensation."

Information from:
Carter Scholz — [email protected]

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