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Subject: Re: Zapping Zapf (was Adobe/Beatles/Smashing Pumpkins...)
From: Michael Brady <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Thu, 15 Aug 1996 12:41:07 +0000

text/plain (44 lines)

Hear, hear, James!

> I seem to recall that in the mid eighties, when Helvetica was
> acclaimed as the 'most specified type', Max Miedinger was trying to
> make a living teaching evening classes. In short, Linotype had well
> and truly stitched him up .
> Even today, some blatant rip-offs are still listed in the catalogues
> of the good and the great. Monotype, for instance, offers something
> called 'Z-Antiqua' - which bears more than a passing resemblance to
> Palatino. Presumably the euphemistic name means that Herr Zapf
> doesn't earn a single cent on it. And as for Bitstream's litany of
> 'Swiss' 'Humanist' and other misappropriations - why don't they just
> hoist the Jolly Roger?

I too saw this practice spring to life full grown from someone's head in
the 70s and couldn't fathom why it wasn't illegal. I forget the legal
defense of the ripoffs. Nowadays, if one steals and parrots the visual
design of a font, that is not illegal, but if one duplicates someone's
font file, that *is* piracy.

I'm waiting for the Emigre fonts to appear in the 500-for-a-buck bundles
(properly renamed with transparent appelations so we all know when they
came from, wink wink wink)--and then I'll buy them nice and legal like.

Agfa (and probably others, God bless 'em) publishes a little booklet
listing a given font and what the other foundries call it. Helvetica,
Megaron, Arial, Swiss .... And that, I suspect, is one reason the
service bureaus feel compelled to buy so many fonts, because one person
uses Cheap Megaron and they only have Helvetica with just a little bit
of difference in the kerning values. Figure what the SB needs to buy
when all the foundries make their own Caslon and Futura and Helvetica
and hundreds of other fonts.

You know, this could be another category on Jeopardy, like Font
Lookalikes, or maybe, Legal Piracy. Eat your
intellectual-property-stealing hearts out, China. You're ripping off
Smashing Pumpkins and getting pinched for it when you could be renaming
a font and be getting money for it!

Go figger.

Michael Brady
[log in to unmask]

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