Design Technology Fonts and the Law - Extensis.com

DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY, FONTS AND THE LAW

What you don't know can definitely cause problems

LEARN FONT LICENSING FROM EXPERT FRANK MARTINEZ

Fonts are critical to design workflows.

Maintaining a robust font collection for design teams is a job that design leadership and IT management often tackle together.

From a legal perspective, fonts are licensed just like any other software and technology.

We invite you to explore this topic with lawyer and font licensing expert, Frank Martinez.

EXCERPT

"Fonts and design are inextricably intertwined. Like many other digital assets, the Internet has become woven into the practice of design and is now a foundational element of the business of design. The anonymous nature of the internet, and ease of sharing files online makes it easy to lose track of the proprietary nature of font software.

Stated simply, someone, usually a lone designer/artist, created the font and someone owns the rights including the right to license the use of the software. The implications for a designer and the designer’s client when misuse occurs are monumental, the largest of which is liability. This happens when the software is not acquired and used according to the terms of the licenses that control any intended uses.

How much liability one Federal District Court in Chicago imposed a fine of $30,000, per day, for the improper use and/or distribution of font software. While most infringement judgments are not this extreme, the history of font related litigation over the past 20 years shows that nearly 50 font infringement lawsuits have been filed in the United States. In most of these cases, the settlements almost certainly required that the infringer be required to pay some form of damages or enhanced licensing fees to the owners of the copyrighted font software."

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