New font collective targets
U.S. law

PHILADELPHIA, 7 April 1997—A diverse collective of type designers and specialists has formed an advocacy group determined to win copyright protection for font designs in the United States.

TypeRight is an independent organization devoted to educating and informing the public about why copyright is needed for fonts and encouraging members of the digital design community to urge their Congressional representatives to amend U.S. law to protect typeface designs.

Central to this effort is TypeRight's website, at <http://www.typeright.org>.

TypeRight emerged from email discussions among an international group of designers, founders, and other type experts who are fed up with seeing font creations copied in ways they maintain are unethical. In most western countries, in fact, such copying is considered illegal, yet it continues in the U.S. unchecked.

While the United States claims to be a world leader in intellectual property protections, TypeRight's members believe font designers are being short-changed by an outdated determination that the design aspect of type fonts cannot be subject to copyright. Digital tools, they argue—while making innovative type design commercially viable—have also made it easier to infringe.

TypeRight's members believe current protections that focus on font software are insufficient. While the software code itself can be copyrighted, they note, there's still a widespread practice of taking original font designs by digital means and re-releasing them with little or no change under new names. Many of TypeRight's members, like others in the type design industry, have had this happen to their work. It is a state of affairs that has them newly dismayed at the shortcomings of U.S. law.

TypeRight's express goal is to change the way the U.S. Copyright Act is interpreted to include protection for font designs.

TypeRight's founders come from all corners of the font community: Clive Bruton (TM/N Digital and Fontzone); Simon Daniels (Microsoft); D. A. Hosek (Serif: The Magazine of Type & Typography); Zuzana Licko (Emigre); Patricia Lillie; Jonathan Macagba (Handcraftedfonts); Chris MacGregor (ITFI/PenUltimate); Ralph Smith (Phil's Fonts Inc.); Don Synstelien (Synfonts/Synstelien Design); Daniel Will-Harris (Will-Harris House); Brian Willson (Three Islands Press); Jack Yan (Jack Yan & Associates).


For further information: visit the TypeRight web site at <http://www.typeright.org>.



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