Font forgeries by Scangraphic

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Uli Stiehl's picture
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Joined: 1 Feb 2006 - 8:02am
Font forgeries by Scangraphic
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The Hertin File - One Year After

A new version of the German "Hertin File" ("Hertin-Akte") is available since February 2008 at my website for legal authorities. It should be emphasized that the "Hertin File", which also documents the lawsuit "Hertin vs. Stiehl" (29 C 495/07), is available for legal authorities only.

The "cease-and-desist" Hertin Anwaltssozietät in Berlin (Paul Wolfgang Hertin, Christlieb Klages, Urs Verweyen et al.) did not succeed to prevent the "Hertin File" which is downloadable for legal authorities at

http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/hertin.htm

and also downloadable at

http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/hertin/hertin.htm

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Uli the witch hunter, first you'd have to ask does anyone at Typophile care. Judging from the development of other threads started by the witch hunter Uli, I certainly hope not. And I certainly hope that any witch hunting revelations published by Uli the witch hunter remain firmly in German only. German witches beware, the hunt is on!

hhp

Yves Peters's picture
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Joined: 7 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
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Oh dear, this is so sad... :^/

Yves Peters's picture
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You really really like to say "forgery", don't you? Come on, say it again -- "forgery". Knock yerself out. :^)

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Censorship is most bizarre.

Now, some weeks later, Yahoo displays again this Typophile thread, if you enter this search string into your browser:

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geu_NZidhKpgIAXxlXNyoA?p=scangraph...

Microsoft's Bing at present also displays the Hertin File, if you enter:

www.bing.com/search?q=hertin+site%3Acg.scs.carleton.ca&form=QBRE&filt=all

for instance these "Hertin-Akte" files

- Die Selbstauftrag-Methode der Hertin Anwaltssozietät
- Selbstauftrag aus strafrechtlicher Sicht
- Die Straftat-Methode der Hertin-Anwaltssozietät
- Die bizarre eidesstattliche Versicherung von Christlieb Klages
- Hertin und die JBB Rechtsanwälte in Berlin

and also the taboo file

- Kai-Volker Oehlrich und die Hamburger Justiz

but Bing does not display the taboo file

- Die Hertin-Akte - Ein Jahr spaeter 2008

However, if you enter

www.google.com/search?hl=de&q=hertin+site%3Awww.sanskritweb.net

both taboo files are displayed.

This applies to the USA. In Germany, Google received a "court order" by the Hamburg courts and is not allowed to display the taboo files. However, if you directly visit my website

www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/hertin.htm

you will see all Hertin-Akte files, and also the taboo files, because the Hamburg courts censored browsers, not my websites.

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Yahoo censors this Typophile thread:

If you enter

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=scangraphic+typophile

you will get no hits at all for this particular thread.

The reason for this censorship is explained in German language here:

http://verlorenegeneration.de/2009/08/30/zensur-der-suchmaschinen

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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And there I was thinking Yahoo is completely useless.

hhp

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I don't think anybody would dispute that you'd get along smashingly with Downer.

hhp

Tim Ahrens's picture
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Uli,

according to my dictionary,

lying is "to say or write something that is not true in order to deceive someone"

whereas

ignorance is "not having enough knowledge, understanding, or information about something".

Your website evidently contains untrue statements. I wonder which one it is in your case, lying or ignorance?

Yves Peters's picture
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Joined: 7 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
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I missed the part where I had anything to do with people buying fonts at FontShop. :^)

Plus it's not very nice to go about insulting people. "Stupid font buyers"? Tsk tsk, manners! :^P

Michael Lewis, CSC's picture
Joined: 1 Feb 2005 - 10:26am
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I'll admit, I have very little idea of what Uli is talking about. But, a cursory search of FontShop's website turns up zero fonts named Paxim or Parlament. So, what's the deal, here? Uli, do you have links that show otherwise? That is, something besides some .PDF lists in German that nobody here can/wants to read? Or, can I go back to bed?

Tim Ahrens's picture
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Uli,

it seems that you have very strong opinions and you want to convince everybody of your views. That's fair enough.

However, when you find arguments that support your point of view you do not seem to check if they are actually true, maybe because when checking them they might turn out to be invalid. That's not OK. Please check your statements more thoroughly before you post them. It is not about asking others to prove you wrong, you should only post statements if you are certain to be correct.

So specify and prove at least TWO untrue statements.

You're not getting the point here. It is YOUR responsibility to verify all the information BEFORE you post it. You cannot simply publish stuff and see if people tell you off.

Anyway, a simple example: On your website you say that Linotype has awarded the "Certificate of Excellence in Type Design" to their own fonts. Do you deliberately post such incorrect information? Or were you just to lazy to check it? Or were you worried to find out that your argument is invalid if you found out who actually awards the "Certificate of Excellence in Type Design"?

Please dont't reply something like "OK - what else is wrong?". It is not my job to look for errors on your website. It is your own responsibility to check what you write.

“Statements” in plural? This would mean at least TWO.
So specify and prove at least TWO untrue statements.

That sound very much like you are already aware of ONE lie?

Btw, I am still wondering about your motivation for doing what you do. You evaded my question the other day.

Tim Ahrens's picture
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Uli,

I assume your logic is:
"I am right unless someone can prove me wrong."
and
"If I am proven wrong in one point this does not mean that my other arguments are wrong."

This logic is certainly true in court. However, this is an internet discussion and people think differently:

If you want to convince people you have to make an effort so they agree with you.

If someone spots a single error/lie in what you say (and most of them will not even be bothered to tell you) they will (unlike a judge) not believe a single word of what else you say.

Maybe that helps in our discussions?

Michael Lewis, CSC's picture
Joined: 1 Feb 2005 - 10:26am
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I'm not going to continue wasting time arguing trolls in this thread, so this is my last post on this topic. That said, you wrote:

The Australian FontShop ... is even presently offering Paxim and Parlament for sale

I just checked, and the Australian site doesn't offer the fonts you mention for sale. In fact, none of the iterations of FontShop worldwide offer Paxim or Parlament. The .JPG links you provided could be forgeries themselves for all I know (or care). But, unless you provide a working link to an active FontShop page somewhere in the world offering the fonts you mention for sale, there's no basis to your argument. If FontShop offered it for sale in 2004, why post about it now? What can anybody at Typophile do about it?

For Mr. Ahrens and for the other Typophile members it seems to be entirely legal for forgers to snatch the fonts made by others and to rename them and sell them as their own fonts.

Typophile members don't make the law. Indeed, many are quite upset at current U.S. copyright law which, in fact, doesn't protect typeface designs themselves, only the source code of the computer files.

But, if you are arguing the morality of copying and reselling fonts under different names, you'd do much better to avoid ad hominem attacks on members of the Typophile community and the purchasers of the fonts they create. Likewise, if you want to be taken seriously as an impartial "documenter" rather than a biased "prosecutor" with an axe to grind, I'd take a page from journalists' book and avoid using loaded words like "font forgers" and "criminal research."

As of yet, I have not seen in this thread nor in others you have started any willingness to ascribe to these simple rules of polite discourse. As such, many on these boards spend their time and energy attempting to defend our community against your malicious, defamatory and, quite possibly, libelous vitriol.

I, for one, am done and won't participate in this fruitless exchange any longer. I would recommend that by brothers and sisters here do likewise and avoid furthering this pointless debate with you.

Tim Ahrens's picture
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This English expression in my German subsite was a wrong translation.
Oops!
“Documentations for Prosecutors and Criminal Courts”
Oh, very intersting. That's very kind of you. However, have you ever heard of any case when the prosecutors were involved in a case that was about intellectual property rights or copyright infringement?

Sebastian's picture
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Aside from expressions like "witch hunting", forgery etc., I am wondering what the general opinion is on the fonts Uli mentioned.

When I look at Paxim, there seems to be a strong similarity with Palatino. However, some distinct differences are the shape of bowls on the d, b, p, q (less round, less calligraphic), some of the serifs are and further, the s and the f are different.

Would this level of distinction make it fall into a category like 'revival' re-interpretation'?

I am curious for your opinions.

Carl Crossgrove's picture
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Joined: 8 Sep 2003 - 2:07pm
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"useless comments"
"Most font buyers are dimwitted"
"At Typophile nobody cares that forgeries of fonts of famous designers are distributed to gullible font buyers."
"It seems that Typophile members are bloody laymen"

"Please delete my “Uli” account as soon as possible"

"Nobody at Typophile expresses any regrets"

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> neither Mr. Peters nor Mr. Papazian nor anyone
> else at Typophile knows which Palatino was forged.

I most certainly do: the metal one.

hhp

Yves Peters's picture
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> neither Mr. Peters nor Mr. Papazian nor anyone else at Typophile knows which Palatino was forged.

Uli, don't you even try to assume what I know or don't know, you silly bastid. :^D

Sebastian, I can't get into it right now, but I will give you the lowdown on why different foundries have their 'own versions' of popular typefaces. What Uli likes to call 'forgeries' is actually something most everyone in the industry is aware of. Uli just wants to make us believe it's all a big secret conspiracy while it's no big deal, really. Like everything in life, not all is black and white but different shades of grey. ;^)

George Everet Thompson's picture
Joined: 8 Oct 2004 - 11:00am
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Here is the (unfortunately very long, but correct and working) link to where Paxim and Parlament are offered by the FontShop in Australia:

The page exists, but I don't see any samples of the fonts in question and they are not available for sale. Try it and see. And the page doesn't look like the other font pages

(http://www.fontshop.com/?fuseaction=catalog.fonts&searchby=category&sear...)

so it's questionable (to me anyway) as to what it's existence means. Did Fontshop once upon a time carry the fonts? Then why don't they now?

George
I felt bad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no Bodoni

Yves Peters's picture
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Over 40 instances of "forgery", "forgeries", "forged", "forgers" etcetera in this thread already. Uli is having a field day! ;^)

Ooooh, say it again, Uli. "Forgery". Taste it, spit out the 'f', let the 'r's roll on your tongue. Come on, you know you want it. :^)

Dr Wouter Soudan's picture
Joined: 12 Sep 2006 - 8:01am
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Yves — This is juvenile. You may disagree, but pinning down someone on his terminology is downright dim.

Hrant — "the metal one" is not much of a help, is it? Which metal one? The one for machine composition on a Linotype? The one for hand composition by Stempel? Which master size? Etc.

All — Stay to the point!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Yes, stay on the hunt!

hhp

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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Please, lets not bring the Hunts into this! :-(

Carl Crossgrove's picture
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Ludwig, can we pin Uli down on his flawed reductive logic then? His haughty, judgemental tone, his acid words? His paranoia? The pointlessly combative air of his posts? I have to ask why Uli proposes to help anyone except possibly by enriching lawyers. He doesn't seem to have any respect for font makers or font buyers. He's declared Typophile useless to him. I doubt that, though I don't wish for his return.

If it's really worthwhile pursuing which Palatino was pirated here, prepare for a very long and tedious list of other pirated versions of Palatino. You may be ready for a nap before we even finish enumerating the "forgeries", much less tracing the original versions.

I think it's more interesting to contemplate the different original versions of Palatino, and why certain ones of them aren't yet available digitally (from the descendant of the original foundry).

Yves Peters's picture
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> Yves — This is juvenile. You may disagree, but pinning down someone on his terminology is downright dim.

Yup. I've stopped trying to make some sense out of his ramblings and decided to lower myself to his level. This is new to me, but it's actually kinda fun.

Whatever, this is a non-discussion. Carl sums it up pretty nicely.

Si -- ROFL :^D

Dr Wouter Soudan's picture
Joined: 12 Sep 2006 - 8:01am
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Yves — If you stop trying to make sense out of someone's words, sure you can turn each discussion into a non-discussion. The question at stake in the opening post merely asked after the sources of the two respectively quoted remakes. If this kind of font genealogy is of any interest to you (to me it is), then please partake into the discussion. If not, refrain from it and keep the supercilious quibbling to yourself.

Carl — I fail to perceive "flawed reductive logic", "haughty, judgemental tone", "acid words", "paranoia" and a "pointlessly combative air" in the posts of Uli. Claiming that "he doesn’t seem to have any respect for font makers or font buyers," is a blunt twist of his words, while he explicitly asserts the opposite: "At Typophile nobody cares that forgeries of fonts of famous designers are distributed to gullible font buyers." You don't pay respect to a naïve fool by telling him he's cunning.

Piling falacious arguments always does the trick. Yes, you can silence people by ridiculising their words, convictions and interests. That's what witch hunters are good at, right? I wonder why the author of this thread judged Typophile members to be "bloody laymen"?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> I’ve stopped trying to make some sense out of his ramblings
> and decided to lower myself to his level. This is new to me,
> but it’s actually kinda fun.

Ditto!
When there's no point, might as well have fun
with it. You know, like a dumb punching bag.

hhp

Ricardo Cordoba's picture
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I have to agree with Carl's opinions, and add that someone who constantly refers to the "font forging industry" is probably just trying to get a rise out of someone. Let's not fall for his tricks any longer.

Chris Goodwin's picture
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Uli has the courage of his convictions, rightly or wrongly. Witchhunt or not, it brings into focus an interesting point. The opportunity is there to inform him of why you disagree in such a manner that he may get something useful from it.

I, and I'm sure there are others would like to hear someone expand on the reasons for these 'versions' of typefaces beyond the obvious piracy arguments. Instead – from 2 of typophile's usually eloquent members – we get...

Yup. I’ve stopped trying to make some sense out of his ramblings and decided to lower myself to his level. This is new to me, but it’s actually kinda fun.

When there’s no point, might as well have fun
with it. You know, like a dumb punching bag.

As a result I fear you've only strengthened his resolve and contributed to the perpetuation of information that doesn't tell the whole story.

Tim Ahrens's picture
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ChrisG, Ludwig,

the problem is not his concern, it is his method. That is unsound.

Another problem is his choice of words. I do think terminology matters and we can and should critisize him for this.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Conviction, good. Berserker persecution, bad.

hhp

Chris Goodwin's picture
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Undoubtedly Hrant. I am not in a position to comment on the veracity of Uli's claims, but if they are wide of the mark as the consensus would suggest, bestowing some patience and collective expertise might make for a rethink on his part.

Bram Pitoyo's picture
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And just like a creature whose name I shall not mention (for the better part of me), off he go to the void.

Actually, he might go back in again after reading all of these comments.

Yves Peters's picture
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> but if they are wide of the mark as the consensus would suggest, bestowing some patience and collective expertise might make for a rethink on his part.

Frankly, that would be a monumental waste of time. We've been there and done that, believe me. Countless times. Over and over again. :^/

You only say this because you're new to his antics.

Chris Goodwin's picture
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Yes, I'm unfamiliar with Uli prior to this thread, and if it is an ongoing thing it puts your exasperation in a different light. No offence intended Yves.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I'm on the last page of the hunting manual, yay!

hhp

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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We do not delete accounts so as to keep some continuity in the content. The best thing you can do is simply not visit Typophile. Cheers!

Yves Peters's picture
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> Yes, I’m unfamiliar with Uli prior to this thread, and if it is an ongoing thing it puts your exasperation in a different light. No offence intended Yves.

No no no, no offense taken, really! This thread was actually quite funny. Uli reminds me of an old kook in my wife's native street, who after 55 years still thinks the Germans are coming. Pops out of his garden and starts to talk crazy to you, pure paranoia.

Adam Twardoch's picture
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Tim,

> the problem is not his concern, it is his method.
> That is unsound.

It is an unsound method, and Uli shoots himself in the foot because of this quite often.

> Another problem is his choice of words. I do think
> terminology matters and we can and should critisize
> him for this.

Well, I actually like his choice of words. Uli uses his own terminology, but he quite clearly states his purpose and his reasoning.

Sometimes, he's completely wrong, and it's quite easy to pin him on that. But if you ignore the rambling overhead of this posts and writings, you'll find out that in many cases, he's unfortunately right. It would be helpful if he did not ruin this by shooting himself in the foot on so many occasions, claiming things that are not true, jumping to illogical conclusions etc.

Reading Uli kind of requires some mental discipline, but at the end of the day, there are many useful things on his website. I guess, had he been less confrontational in style, he'd more easily find audience willing to listen. A lesson that I learned myself some time ago.

A.

Ps. At least Uli considers the font forging industry "funny", a view that I most certainly share.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Some good points.

Personally my only real problem with Uli is that he's so obsessed with something so deathly boring. It's like somebody who only frequents a forum for discussing the composition of music to express outrage at Spears's and Aguilera's promiscuities.

hhp

Adam Twardoch's picture
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I guess most of the population considers type design itself deadly boring -- including some type designers. I actually don't consider the "funny font forging industry" boring. I find it fascinating that all those people keep knocking each other off and get away with it just fine.

A.

Bram Pitoyo's picture
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I guess most of the population considers type design itself deadly boring...

That's a good point, actually.

Adam Twardoch's picture
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Uli,

while I'm not in any way part of the dispute, I would like to make some comments on your findings and claims.

As you point out in http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/escoria.pdf, the original type design Chevalier was designed by Emil A. Neukomm in 1946 at Haas, and was distributed in Germany by D. Stempel AG from the 1950s on. As you probably, know, both Haas and Stempel assets have been acquired by Linotype-Hell around 1985-89. Linotype-Hell was acquired by Heidelberg and its font division was separated into Linotype Library GmbH in 1997. In 2006-07, the company changed the name to Linotype GmbH and was sold to Monotype Imaging.

There has been a continuous legal ownership of matrices, design originals (drawings), designer credits and (in many cases) trademarks by Linotype GmbH from its predecessors.

While Hertin Anwaltssozietät asserts there is no copyright protection for type designs in Germany and typeface designs can be only protected as design patents (Geschmacksmuster), this does not automatically imply that this is the case worldwide. For example in Poland, courts have decided that typeface designs are protected under copyright law (rather than the patent law, which only offers paid and more time-limited protection).

On http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/chevalier.htm, you interpret the "June 2006" release of Chevalier by Linotype so that before June 2006, Chevalier was not available at Linotype. Your interpretation is wrong. As you have documented yourself, Haas published Chevalier as metal type in 1946 and D. Stempel AG distributed the metal type from the 1950s on. The typeface was available for sale by these companies. Haas' type assets and D. Stempel AG were purchased by Linotype-Hell in the 1980s, and their assets have gone into Linotype GmbH. Linotype GmbH is the legal successor of D. Stempel AG and at least of the type assets of Haas (I don't know the exact details of the transactions).

You make the point that Softmaker sold the digital font "Maurice" as early as 2002 (or perhaps earlier), and that it was a "forgery" of the Chevalier design. You conclude that Linotype's digital font "Chevalier" is a copy of "Maurice", therefore not an original. But as Linotype is a legal successor of the type assets of Haas and Stempel, wouldn't you agree that it has the right to claim to be the originator of the Chevalier design, dating back to 1946?

Further, you completely ignore the distinction between typeface design and the digital font form. The Adobe vs. SSi ruling in the U.S. has affirmed that digital fonts are treated as software programs and are copyrightable under U.S. law. Since U.S. and Germany are part of the WIPO and of the Berne convention, it can be asserted that while typeface designs may not be copyrightable in Germany (but only enjoy patent protection), the software programs, and therefore the digital fonts, are copyrightable. I believe there are some German court rulings that see it the same way.

Your analysis of Linotype's Chevalier and Softmaker's Maurice digital data is interesting. Indeed, it suggests that both fonts share the same digital software code. While Linotype release the font only in 2006, there is no reason to assume that it was not "digitized by Linotype" earlier. Many fonts exist in raw digital formats for years and only get published much later.

Keep in mind that copyright protection does not take the date of publication into account, but the date of creation. Therefore, it is of no significance that Softmaker released their font in 2002 (or earlier) while Linotype did so only in 2006. What is important to discover is who and when did the digitization of Chevalier, i.e. turned the Haas/Stempel/Linotype original design into software code.

I cannot agree with your conclusion that Linotype's statements "Digitized by Linotype", "Linotype Original", "Copyright by Linotype" are "blunt lies" ("plumpe Lügen"). Given the fact that Chevalier was produced and marketed by companies that were acquired by Linotype, Linotype is entitled to call the typeface a "Linotype Original". Provided that the font software for Chevalier was indeed prepared by Linotype (Linotype-Hell AG, Linotype Library GmbH, Linotype GmbH or a service partner working for any of these), I have no reason to see why Linotype should not claim copyright on the digital software code, and credit itself on the digitization.

Unfortunately, Ulrich -- as usual -- you are jumping to conclusions without properly analyzing the materials. I agree with you that the matter should be clarified by the legal authorities, and therefore am grateful for your work on documenting these issues. However, I don't think that you're doing yourself or anyone else much service by accompanying your documentation with loud claims such as "blunt lies", which, in my eye, you have not sufficiently backed up with evidence.

Regards,
Adam

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Uli,

regarding the correspondence from Elsner+Flake's attorneys Anwaltsozietät Hertin, I believe you have not understood what they wrote. They say that the typeface *design* "Chavalier" has become public domain, and that Elsner+Flake digitized it, expanded the character set and implemented the typeface in contemporary font formats. While typeface designs may not be copyrightable in Germany, digital fonts are considered copyrightable software. In your reply to Hertin, you cite Hertin's book in that he describes that forging public domain works such as Shakespeare's is illegal.

But your analogy is flawed. The works of Shakespeare are public domain but if one produces a software program that displays and presents Shakespeare's works on modern computers in an innovative way, and extends the works by comments or some other additions, the result of this work *is* copyrightable even though the underlying work is public domain.

This is why Hertin writes: "In case of the typeface 'Escorial', our client [Elsner+Flake] digitized an existing metal type of letterforms, added special characters such as €, @ and others that have meanwhile become customary, and implemented the result in contemporary font formats. Our client offers this service as licenses for the relevant fonts."

Quite clearly, Hertin's point is that while Chevalier is a public domain design, Elsner+Flake's version ("Escorial") is not copyright-free because Elsner+Flake digitized the typeface and implemented the design in digital font formats (which are considered software) and performed some work that added intellectual property (such as creating the custom characters).

In your reply to Hertin, you mix up typeface designs and digital fonts and ignore the rest of the distinctions I have explained above. This indicates that you don't understand what Hertin wrote to you.

Regards,
Adam

Adam Twardoch's picture
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BTW, as you well know, Uli, the court ruling that confirmed that computer fonts are copyrightable as software in Germany was LG Köln, Urteil vom 12.01.2000, 28 O 133/97 "Schutzfähigkeit von Computerschriften": http://www.jurpc.de/rechtspr/20000217.htm

I'm well aware that you are opposing this view in your analysis (http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/computerprogramm.pdf ) but to me, the arguments that you present in your write-up do not hold up.

Regards,
Adam

Karsten Luecke's picture
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Two striking things in the Hertin letter:

(1) To my regret, the letter itself does not make the distinction between protecting type design vs protecting font software explicit.

(2) The Hertin letter (to support its claim that their client sells digitized typefaces that are public domain now and not protected by copyright) sweepingly states that for the protection of typefaces there is the Geschmacksmustergesetz/Schriftzeichengesetz -- and no protection beyond that.* It goes so far to claim that typefaces are not copyrightable.** This contradicts what was published elsewhere, that typefaces are protected if they show "artistic added value" -- unlikely maybe, but, well ... So, I regret that their argument is rather extrabold.
(At the same time, referring to the link Adam posted, I have the sad impression that the court took the easy route: because fonts deserve protection as font software, they did not even attempt to answer the question whether the typefaces are actually works of art and thus copyrighted in Germany. Since font formats come and go, protection of typefaces as font software is only a substitute for real protection of the pieces of art/design which typefaces are or can be. It is as if a 300-dpi scan of a drawing were copyrighted but the original drawing were not. It is plain absurd. But another story.)

*  "Darueber hinaus ist ein rechtlicher Schutz von Schriftzeichen vom Gesetzgeber nicht vorgesehen." (p.2)
**  "Bei einem Schrifttyp handelt es sich jedoch eben gerade nicht um ein urheberrechtlich geschuetztes Werk iSd § 1,2 UrhG." (p.3)

As to the Chevalier outlines, it is amusing that obviously Softmaker sells a cleaned up version while Linotype's shows Ikarus-conversion-artefacts in the left serif.  :)
It might be a funny project for future students of type history to create a genealogy of font outlines.

Tim Ahrens's picture
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Another interesting aspect is that - as far as I know - copyright cannot be transferred under any circumstances except inheriting according to German legislation. Therefore it is not possible that a company owns a copyright, it stays with the original designer until his/her death and with the descendants until 70 years after the death.

Karsten Luecke's picture
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The ruling to which Adam's link refers clearly states that fonts -- regarded as font software (= computer programs) -- are copyrightable.
And typeface designs may be copyrightable as works of art, also indicated in the ruling.

Personal note, to extend what I already said in my previous post:
What really bothers me is the somewhat flawed argument to which the ruling subscribed. It goes like this:
To make software, you need to have computer knowledge and training as typographer or typesetter (the ability to space letters is explicitly mentioned). It does not even matter whether the type designer actually programs the font software, or uses applications which generate the font software. The ruling emphasizes that, to make font software, one needs "creative programming skills/efforts" which justify copyright protection. (One could back this by the assumption that e.g. a PostScript font in fact is a program which can be programmed. But there is no word of this in the said ruling.) In short:
On the one hand, protecting font software -- i.e. the technical implementation of typeface design -- is easy. The ruling emphasizes what at best can be characterized as mere technical skills.
On the other hand, the barrier for typeface design -- as a work of art -- to be regarded as copyrightable is set so high that it is rather unlikely that a good text face would ever enjoy this kind of protection.
Absurd.

Tim Ahrens's picture
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Hi Adam, Karsten and Uli,

what do you mean by "copyrightable"? Do you mean "schutzfaehig"?

I just browsed my law books and found that some common assumptions about intellectual property legislation are not applicable in Germany:

- The notion of "who owns the copyright" does not seem to be common, at least I have not found anything like that in the texts. You could, of course, ask the question "Who could claim protection for his work in case of an argument, and on which legal basis?"
- Obviously, the creator (Urheber) could do so but no action is necessary to protect you intellectual property on the basis of the UrhG.
- A company cannot be a creator (Urheber). (§7 UrhG)
- Copyright can not be transferred between living persons (§29,2 UrhG).
- However, the creator can transfer rights of use (Nutzungsrechte). I guess this is the legal basis on which intellectual property is "sold".

Karsten Luecke's picture
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Yes, 'schutzfähig'. In the sense that something deserves this kind of protection and is 'urheberrechtlich geschützt', or not. Not in the sense that you need to "apply" for this kind of protection.

[Slightly edited.]