> My question to the group is this: what are the precedents for
> adapting faces from firms that have since gone out of business? Who
> owns the rights? Do they revert to the relatives of the
> typographer? And, as we see with those cheapo type CDs, a tweak
> here and there, and a new name and PostScript ID, and you have an
> entirely new face.
The task of translating a face from metal to PostScript is a pretty
monumental one. My own take on this is that if someone is prepared to
put in the effort, it would be unreasonable for the estate of the
orignal designer to feel hard done by. The rewards of Fontography are
so small that the same amount of time invested in almost any other
commercial activity would be likely to be more lucrative.
Also, it's worth emphasizing that the translation from atoms to bits
involves a considerable amount of re-interpretation. Sometimes it's
done well (FB California), sometimes abysmally (Monotype Perpetua),
so there's considerably more artistry to a successful revival that a
bit of scanning and autotracing. This degree of re-interpretation
would constitute an entirely original work in any of the other visual
It would be interesting to know how Letraset got around the copyright
issue with Michael Gills' three Menardt revivals ('Figural',
'Elysium' and "Prague'). My guess is that they didn't. Of course you
can always follow Gerald Giampa's lead and buy the whole lot up...