"Darrel, consumers that care do read EULAs."
Care about what?
Consumers want a simple transaction: Here's my money, give me my product.
EULAs are only used to restrict the default assumptions of that transaction. They're bad, bad, bad. IMHO, of course. ;o)
"I am a consumer that reads the EULA, but cares less about it than consumer protection legislation."
"For those that say that protection is a slap in the face to the consumer or even hint that we are less friendly to our customers now— You obviously have never purchased anything from us or called us."
It is a slap in the face. I love Apple. I think they are a great company. But DRM on their songs is a slap in the face. Period.
Piracy...the damaging kind...the ones where people are selling your goods...these aren't stupid people. They know how to get around DRM. There's a monetary reward for doing so.
The ones that aren't as damaging...the paying customer sending a font to the printer with the file or just wanting to make a PDF to send to a client...this just annoys them.
Chuck, good luck with it all. I hope that your protection scheme actually works as you intended. I have a strong hunch it won't, but would love to be proven wrong. Keep us posted. In the end, only you know your user base and perhaps this is the ideal solution for your target audience.
The font components are downloaded by the LHF Service and placed in:
These files are still not generally functional. They might be modifying the data slightly just before making the ATS call to activate the font. It's not entirely clear what problems this might pose for FontExplorer or Suitcase users. Running two font managers at once has been problematic in the past. When a font is activated by ATS it is not entirely possible to hide it's location. The complete font may only exist temporarily, but it is possible to find it's location.
I think the other stated reasons are more important for avoiding these fonts. Really this is not flexible enough for professional design work. In most cases, a very similar font will be available from a major vendor without the potential headaches.
>Look at this thread here. They’ve already tainted their image through just one PAYING customer being annoyed.
If the paying customer had said "I spoke to the vendor and they said - tough luck, and sent me packing" then there may be some validitiy to this. So far no one has indicated that they've even spoken to the vendor.
>It’s better to not bother. Consumers don’t read EULAs.
That'll change, esp. once they get sent the invoice a few months after they've posted a PDF containing the fonts on their blog.
--Consumers don’t read EULAs.
--consumers that care do read EULAs.
Do you adhere to EULAs for typefaces that you purchase?
Going in a different direction here from the previous comments. Just out of curiosity, and maybe this is a naive question, but I'm wondering... How does LHF's new scheme of embedding a purchaser's font file with their account number and other identifying info work so as not to cause functional problems with the operation of the font?
I will say this about Quark and EULAs - if you Collect for Output in Quark it point blank asks you if you have read the license and are complying with its restrictions. Of course then it lets you go ahead and collect anyway, but I think it's cool they ask.
That said, I rarely read EULAs. Sorry. Doesn't mean I'm not aware of font piracy issues.
I would NEVER buy a font I couldn't turn on and off at will.
>Sii, I posted this here instead of talking to the vendor first because I did not want my complaint possibly being kept private.
It's unlikely they would have said "we'll provide unlocked fonts providing you don't publicize the fact" but you never know. Anyway thanks for providing us with the detailed explanation.
It's interesting that they're willing to bet their brand on this. If I were going to try to implement font DRM I would create a new brand. The reason is that the print/design community is very "sticky" with regard to their opinion of specific companies. If people who support Macs in education and publishing put up "No Letterhead Fonts!" policies, this sentiment could get stuck in consumers' minds. They may become affaid to use any LH fonts.
Also, I'm not sure it's been mentioned, but if LH decides to not to update their application to support new versions of Mac and Windows, font users could potentially lose their ability to use their fonts!
I am a consumer that reads the EULA, but cares less about it than consumer protection legislation. It's a contract? So what? A contract could be invalid, unconscionable, or unenforceable. And intellectual property rights are not natural law, but exist only to the extent that they are recognized by the state. So I respect a EULA only to the extent that it deserves respect.
>It’s interesting that they’re willing to bet their brand on this. If I were going to try to implement font DRM I would create a new brand. The reason is that the print/design community is very “sticky” with regard to their opinion of specific companies.
Do you think? People were quick to forgive Adobe when they tried and abandoned protection schemes. I don't think these guys have much if anything to lose by giving this technology a college try.
People were quick to forgive Adobe when they tried and abandoned protection schemes.
I think it's easier for companies who make multiple products, like Microsoft, Apple and Adobe. Just because I think the Zune's DRM makes it useless, doesn't mean I dislike SQL Server 2005.
Also, if it is something Adobe abandoned, then it is easier to forgive.
Who do the makers think they are kidding? If it's possible to outline it before making a PDF, the font can be "re-engineered", right?
Thanks for commenting Chuck.
As I said, all power to an indie foundry that wants to do things its way.
"Why would you want to rekern any font? If the font you purchased is so lousy that you have to rekern it, I would suggest you ask for your money back." See Bringhurst v3.0 at 203-06.
I wrote Chuck about this and he responded very courteously in a matter of minutes. I feel his pain. I absolutely hate the new protection scheme, but I for one will do everything in my power to try to work within it because I want to support Chuck. It's a good thing he has such wonderful fonts and such an obvious love for the craft or many of us might just decide it's not worth it.
At least he responded courteously to you. He was arrogant and exploited a very poor attitude in his reply to me! When I emailed him about auto-installing fonts on my system which I did not like and asking him if I could purchase fonts in a ZIP file, this is his actual reply to me:
All fonts are self-installing. We do not offer fonts inside of .zip files that you may install yourself. The fonts are protected within the installer and are not placed in your fonts folder. This was done to protect the fonts against piracy, not to make it easier to install (although it certainly does that too).
We are not a charity. We are a business and as such, we reserve the right to operate as we please. If you do not like the way we conduct our business, I suggest you not purchase our fonts.
Talk about arrogrance and POOR (at best) customer service! I ended our business relationship with him right then and there. When I found this thread on Typophile, I joined. I wanted to put this info into your thread and let you all know how arrogantly and with such a poor attitude Mr. Davis responded to me.
My firm has not spent as much money with Letterhead as some of you, I am sure, but as a small independent firm, we were still a paying customer! We had no problems up until now, but this has caused us to drop Letterhead from our vendor list. We can no longer do business with anyone who demands complete control of how we apply what we purchase for our business. We will be taking our business elsewhere.
I have purchased many LHF types over the years and have long been a big fan of their products and their customer support. Whenever I have encountered any sort of difficulty they have been helpful, prompt, and gracious. Unfailingly. And I have always been scrupulously diligent about not allowing my LHF files out into the wild, out of respect for the designers and for LHF. Plus, they're mine!
I'm such a big fan that I've even purchased types from them that I don't even need. To satisfy my collector's impulse, or some other irrational motive. Abject affection, maybe.
But I will not buy anything from them as long as they employ this contrivance. No way.
Chuck, I too want to thank you for your comments even though I am obviously unhappy with the new system. I do hope the increased sales continue to stay up. I don't know about others, but in my case buying one of the recent LH fonts was due to a feeling of pent-up demand for a choice new release from LHF because of the 2-year drought in font releases till your new system went live just recently. I would have bought more than a single font, but being unsure of what the new font installation system might entail, decided to play it safe.
I've wondered for some time what the reason was for the lengthy absence of new releases, and tended to assume LHF must have been busy converting the entire preexisting catalog over to OpenType, which had to have been a huge task. In any event, my feeling at this point is I will probably end up buying a few more LH fonts in the future on occasion but at a significantly reduced level compared to the past because of the impact of the new scheme on our workflow. (I.e., "must haves" but not the "like to haves" like before.)
As the previous poster said, however, I continue to have great affection for LHF's fonts, and I hope fortune smiles on you and your business.
I have dropped out of buying fonts for a few years. I purchase to rarely, a client has to give me a pretty good reason to spend the extra money.
However, as a typesetter in New York City, when the Mac became the way, I plunked down more than $25,000 on a font library. Owning Letraset, Bitstream (Type 3, which they were kind enough to update to a Type 1 a year later), Monotype, Linotype, URW, Adobe (originally library was a mere $15,000 and talk about errors in fonts.), and many fine fonts from FontFont, FontHaus, etc. (BTW, do you have any idea how many Garamonds a typographer during 1989-1991 in New York had to buy to be legit?)
In my typeshop, I had a disgruntled worker. He made a copy of my entire library (including some original handtailored fonts) and gave it to his friend, a photographer, down the street. The friend decided to become a design shop, and you could imagine my face when I received a flyer from the "other" shop, letting my customers know that "his" library contained exclusives, and he could set the job better than who you are using today...
I contacted Adobe immediately. Yes, I called in the Font Police. I learned pretty quickly that one person stealing a library wasn't worth their time and energy in legal fees. They referred me to a person at QuarkXPress. That was an interesting story. Quark found a consultant in New York who bought 25 copies of Quark. He placed them in one of the companies he was consulting for. Then he placed them repeatedly in other companies -- all using the same serial numbers. He did it so many times, that eventually companies started to contact Quark on their own to get the upgrades -- all using the same serial numbers. I still wonder how that lawsuit worked out -- that is what Adobe wanted me to know, you have to go after the big fish.
It isn't like you've lost a customer in me, I do like your fonts, and maybe one day, I'll be able to have a customer who appreciates them and is willing to pay the price. I no longer am. But the fonts I own, all licensed and legit -- I do need to pass on to my printer when I am doing book, advertising and magazine work.
I am just sharing this. Maybe some would call it rambling. I do want you to know, I do know what it is like when one is stressed out in a business that is going nowhere, where your assets are being stolen - and worse, advertised against you. Sometimes you have to realize it is okay to move on.
Meanwhile, I am curious, if someone did want to give a printer a pdf or have the font to give their absolutely, legitimate printer so their job looks exactly like they expect it to -- is the new licensing of Letterhead Fonts opposed to this? Or must we make a PDF in Photoshop, flatten it like a graphic, and have no fonts -- which means, oh no, more time on making type corrections down the road...
And by the way -- I keep repeating myself lately, but I am amazed that a "newbie" can go on line, pick up tons of illegal fonts -- and have a better typography library than Photolettering did in 1989! Probably every typographer I knew, is rolling over in their graves... and most likely, laughing.
Heron you only have to turn the typefaces to outlines, you don't need to rasterize them. All of Letterhead's fonts are display. I suppose turning the headings to outlines isn't that bad. It is just a nuisance.
Being involved with information sharing in between foundries, I've seen a disgusting amount of font piracy. I don't want anyone to think I'm against a foundry doing what they feel they must to protect there work. It is a business decision and like any business decision there is an upside and a downside. It sounds to me like you, Chuck, did what you felt you needed to do.
Thanks for the response, Chuck. It's rare for any vendor to speak out candidly about piracy; I'm used to just hearing the same old statistics spewing out of lobbying organizations. Sometimes I think that there would be a lot less IP theft out there if businesses tried a little harder to put a face on things. Good luck to you, and sink or swim, please let us know how it works out.
Chuck, I certainly feel your pain, but essentially breaking your customers' final product can't be the best way to do this. I wish I knew a better one, though ...
Converting to curves means that the content of your files cannot be searched/indexed/aggregated/copied&pasted, and essentially breaks the whole metadata point of a PDF. It also means that my entire proof process - which is 100% PDF based, now - would have to be abandoned on any jobs I used LHF fonts on. I doubt any art department that uses PDF workflow from proofing onwards can afford to completely re-engineer their procedures just to accomodate your type, no matter how well made and attractive it is.
My 2¢. Good luck,
jlt : http://www.hewnandhammered.com : rnrmf!
Thanks for your side of the story, Chuck. I appreciate the effort you made to explain your point of view at Typophile.
> From that point forward we began noticing increased cases of piracy.
Did you also notice any affect on sales?
Just checked with the IT department of my biggest client, a worldwide TV broadcaster, and unfortunately LHF fonts cannot be allowed on their network as the protection scheme installation is considered an application, and they do not allow new applications on their worldwide network without many, many months of testing, etc.. So much for my big purchase/site license of LHF fonts. Meanwhile, I have done a survey of 11 designer friends who all work closely with type. I had them visit the LHF site and also read these threads. Every one of them was adament that the protection scheme was a definite deal breaker. It wasn't even close. I can't see how this is going to work for Chuck. I'd rather see LHF charge A LOT more for their fonts to try and make the business more profitable. Unfortunately, I believe this protection scheme will kill the business sooner or later. What a pity! Please Chuck, come up with something else!
>Just checked with the IT department of my biggest client, a worldwide TV broadcaster,
But, did you contact Chuck directly? I have never negotiated with a font vendor or designer who was not willing to be flexible when the price was right.
Actually, I did contact Chuck—although at the time I did not propose a special exception for my situation—and he was kind enough to send me a lengthy, articulate and thoughtful email explaining his reasoning. I have always enjoyed fantastic service from LHF. I did not want to offend him by asking for special dispensation or trying to throw money at him and asking him to bend the rules. Anyway, if Chuck was willing to forego the protection scheme by increasing the price of his fonts, he probably would've had that as a policy. Even if he did go for the bait, having such a two-tier policy would not only be unfair, but would be a tacit admission that the protection scheme is so bad, customers would be willing to pay extra to avoid it. Sigh.
If I need specific rights I ask for those specific rights. The vendor can give me a price or say, sorry not at any price. Sorry, but maybe it's a cultural thing, but I don't consider this haggling or sordid in any way, it's just business, and as other commentators have said, it's not as if you can't go and find fonts elsewhere.
A simple example is that most vendors make P&P embedding fonts, and I only license 'editable' embedding fonts. The fact that I ask for those rights, and am willing to pay for the extra value that functionality gives my customers does not mean that the vendors are wrong to set their fonts to P&P embedding.
Hmmm. OpenType. Very.
Interesting discussion. While sitting on the fence, I'd like to address two points:
1. Chuck's peace of mind will evaporate as soon as a single crack team fixes the installer, making it redistributable. Then what?
2. The story about an expensive font library being copied. If an amateur can produce the same results with your tools, wtf is your workmanship worth?
Before we offer suggestions such as increasing prices to offset any losses incurred by piracy, the following would have to be true:
1. Piracy = fewer sales
2. Letterhead Fonts cares more about the bottom line than preventing piracy
I believe neither is true.
I await Chuck's answer to my question from earlier today, but I doubt that sales decreased substantially as a result of the increased piracy. And I don't think that matters much to him anyway. It sounds like preventing piracy is a very high priority for him, even if his methods hurt his bottom line. I don't personally agree with that point of view, but if it's true it would trivialize most of the discussion here.
Sergej - this happened in the early 90s -- when typesetters were becoming dinosaurs.
I can remember going to Poppe Tyson (an advertising agency in NY) one morning -- they framed their very first job. I looked at it and screamed, "Who the F set this?"
I was asked by the art director, "Why?"
I looked it over and responded, "If I sent you a job that looked this bad, I'd have a call at 9:01 a.m. letting me know I was replaceable. There is no kerning, no proper rag, no true punctuation!"
The art director responded, "It doesn't matter, I'm proud of it, it was the first job I set myself and the client has 'ok'd' it."
To me that was the end of typography. For others that day, it was the New York Times printing a full page ad with very large inch marks for quote marks... same day, same fate.
So Sergej, I don't know how old you are, or where you were when the amateurs took over - and the customers decided - ah, this is cheaper and we can live with it.
Our shop was excellent. Photoshop, according to Cosmos, ran an ad on my behalf - "Often imitated, never duplicated..." when I spent money on an altergraph and a graphflex and was able to do many of the special effects that they were known for -- and well.
I guess you haven't run into the kid that spent $2200 bucks and thinks he/she can do it all themselves... and what's worse - professionalism has been placed 6-feet under.
And a flash bulletin - there are no typesetters left. Even Boros has given it up. The only reason I was able to survive was by becoming a graphic arts studio... and I was fortunate to work with so many wonderful art directors in New York - greatest apprenticeship program ever!!!
and P.S. I never said he could do it as well - only that he advertised to my customers he could...
It amazes me that designers, people who sell their intellectual property to make a living, would jump all over a company that wants to protect its business by protecting its product. Maybe Letterhead's method isn't foolproof (from the designer standpoint, it sounds like it has some major issues), but I commend them for taking the first step.
The real solution here is that Adobe/Microsoft/Apple need to get together and extend the OpenType scheme to have some sort of native DRM so that designers can protect their work from criminals that justify stealing with "I didn't decrease their sales, so its ok." and other pathetic excuses for their inherent lack of morals.
It's saddening to see this in the creative community.
"It amazes me that designers, people who sell their intellectual property to make a living, would jump all over a company that wants to protect its business by protecting its product."
No one is against a company fighting piracy. A lot of people ARE against a company that ties its own paying customers into absurd hoop jumping clauses that only frustrate.
"The real solution here is that Adobe/Microsoft/Apple need to get together and extend the OpenType scheme to have some sort of native DRM"
DRM does nothing to stop real piracy. If someone can come up with a DRM scheme, someone sitting in a cubicle in China can crack it. It's just a silly cat and mouse game and the paying consumer gets stuck with dealing with all the crap it entails.
Are there exceptions? Certainly. iTunes succeeds in spite of its DRM. Granted, a big part of that is because their DRM is a lot less restrictive than other music DRM options right now.
"and other pathetic excuses for their inherent lack of morals."
Unfortunately, neither laws nor technology can do much to change personal morals.
Some examples, btw, in the past month:
- Windows Vista DRM has been cracked to get around the authentication scheme
- HD DVD DRM has been cracked so you can now copy HD DVDs
Now these are DRM schemes brought to market by huge industry heavyweights with ungodly amounts of money and resources. But, easily cracked. They always are.
"But Letterhead Fonts has the right to protect it’s fonts."
Of course it does. I'm still a little confused about how you're going about it...
You have not mentioned any problems that are not correctable by forceful legal action assuming copyright and trademark registration.
Whether you are opposed to the use of legal force, or a simply trying to stop font "collectors", the temporary protection (via an installer), puts a permanent stop to casual borrowers who become licensees when your IP hits their publication's legal fan, at which point they are normally in immediate need of a license.
This is close to 1/4 of our business, so I'm wondering at the marketing, sales and support model that makes this work, and while hoping it works for you, we can't follow and continue our policy of forceful legal action, the very threat of which, usually accomplishes our goals.
And another question... Couldn't someone with FontLab simply open an LHF font and regenerate it so as to strip off the encrypted or embedded user info? If so, I'm kind of wondering what's the point. The "smart" pirates are going to be smart enough to do so, meaning only the dumb ones get caught. But the end result is the knowledgeable pirates still pirate the fonts and get them circulated around without much trouble or being traced. No?
what's the actual security mechanism? i'm assuming you are emailed a licence key number when you make a purchase, and this must be typed into the installer before it will download the fonts?
I don't see how a small company could muster the forces to persue legal action—even threats—again and again and again. Sounds very expensive and time-consuming to me. How do you do it?
That's one of the points malbright - most companies cannot afford to go after small time thieves...
I was always "comforted" by -- the person who steals wouldn't have been one to buy the service anyway.... I know, not comforting, but also, not a loss of a sale.
Exactly, heron2001. I was responding to dberlow's post above. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the fact that most of those doing the stealing would never be customers anyway.
Geez - this site is so polarized sometimes.
Letterhead has every right to do what they want and you have every right ro respond accordingly.
Is there more to the story than that?
>a small company could muster the forces to persue legal action—even threats
If I understand David Berlow's posting rightly, normally lawyers don't need to be involved, once the 'nastygram' has been written. I think at TypeCon he said that they send a letter something like this: "Congratulations, you are now our valued customer. Our bill of ... for our fonts that you are now using is attached. The penalty for using our fonts without purchase, otherwise known as piracy is..." and then follows the nasty stuff.
A catch here is that publications such as magazines and newspapers are FontBureau's primary customers, whereas Letterhead Font's customers are, I gather, to a large extent sign makers. Publications I would think are a lot easier to monitor than signs. On the other hand, sign makers are a much smaller universe than signs, so maybe there is another way...
I have ten distributors, none of whom give me more than an email address in the way of purchaser information, so it's practically impossible to know, when I see a type of mine being used, whether it's legit.
My marketing strategy has always been "I am the brand", putting a face to the face, so to speak, so I rely on the inclination of users not to pirate original work by an identifiable person (as was earlier noted in the thread).
On a positive note, I've found that a great many font users, in businesses of all sizes, are extremely diligent about their software licences, and that includes fonts. So the results of the survey here are no doubt quite genuine, and heartening. And those respondents who say they ignore the EULA are not admitting to piracy.
So the results of the survey here are no doubt quite genuine, and heartening. And those respondents who say they ignore the EULA are not admitting to piracy.
There is a difference between piracy and violating the EULA, which is a breach of contract (to the extent that the EULA is binding).
By the way, (and this is off topic), suppose I buy computers with pre-installed fonts from a company that no longer exists -- suppose they went bankrupt or the owner retired to Costa Rica. Would one say that I can do whatever I want with the fonts since I am not bound by the contract? In other words, do the rights of the designer stem exclusively from the EULA?
Please close your CITE tag - thanks!
Edit: Thank you!
There is a difference between piracy and violating the EULA
That was my point. If you can't be bothered to read the EULA, that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be pirating software to friends and acquaintances.
Admitting that I am sometimes (usually) too busy to read every last word of a EULA before checking "I agree" doesn't translate to disseminating the font to everyone I know. I'm aware of font piracy, try not to do it, but wish EULAs were simpler and a bit more user-friendly for the independent designer.
I wonder why there's no fuss when I loan a book to a friend. The author doesn't get the royalty, but you never hear authors or publishers trying to stand in the way of passing books around. In fact you can buy used books at Amazon. Why is it so different with fonts and music?
I wonder why there’s no fuss when I loan a book to a friend. The author doesn’t get the royalty, but you never hear authors or publishers trying to stand in the way of passing books around. In fact you can buy used books at Amazon. Why is it so different with fonts and music?
Here in the USA, first sale doctrine was established in law ages ago and this keeps book and music publishers from getting royalties on resale. This is not the case in some countries—in Japan, for example, resale of video games is illegal (although it still happens). With software the publishers have the option of requiring acceptance of a license before use, so they can effectively block resale of the product. I expect that we'll see the details of all this set in precedent soon, because video game companies are taking big hits from restailers who purchase new games in limited quantities and then rely on used game sales to boost margins. At some point there's going to be a game company that decides this is violating a EULA, and the lawsuits will start flying.
>but you never hear authors or publishers trying to stand in the way of passing books around.
I think they have complained in the past, especially when the second hand book trade started to move online, and finding second hand copy of the title became much easier.
However, the difference is of course that in passing the font or music file around, more often than not a "backup copy" is retained by the original purchaser. That's not really sharing, its more like duplication.
You have a point.
But once I've read a book I'm usually done with it, whereas I reuse fonts and music all the time.
I guess my point is that business models are changing - witness what's happening to the music industry with iTunes - and while there was an initial fuss now they're trying to accept the new reality and figure out ways to still make money. I think if it were a bit easier with fonts it would be less tempting to just pass a font on to a printer with a job. Everybody would win. Letterhead is trying to address this in their own way, but they will no doubt lose customers. There should be a better way for designers and foundries to make their profits and not punish the customer. And accept that there will always be people who circumvent the rules, you can't go after everybody.