Potentially stirring post: Akzidenz-Grotesque by Linotype

rdesa's picture

Dear all:

I don't want to start a quarrel here, but I'd like to have Akzidenz-Grotesque by LINOTYPE. This is a discontinued font.

I'm trying to get if on behalf of a friend who is doing a marvelous job in creating non Western fonts for academic work.

Here is what he wrote to me:

............
As far as the Akzidenz-Grotesk is concerned, I need only ONE example of ANY font alled "Akzidenz-Grotesk" and contained in any disk or CD from **Linotype**. The important point is:
The file must be from **Linotype**, not from Berthold etc.
This means, if someone has ANY older Linotype Library Gold CD on which the Akzidenz-Grotesk is contained, then I would need ONE example, preferable the Roman style of Akzidenz-Grotesk.
Since Font Explorer 1.5 Gold Edition = Linotype Library Gold CD the Akzidenz-Grotesk was no longer sold by Linotype, so that it must be a Linotype font collection older than year 2000.
...............

Since it is a discontinued font, I think there is no problem in his getting it. If someone can send such a copy it would be appreciated.

I don't think this is breaking whatever law there is, but then I'm not a lawyer. I mean to offend no one's feelings on this hot matter. But just bear in mind that the person on behalf of which I'm asking this is doing extremely important academic work: providing fonts for working with old and very important texts.

I hope I will not be missinterpreted.

Rodrigo de S

twardoch's picture

Rodrigo,

your informations are not accurate. Linotype's version of Akzidenz Grotesk is not discontinued, it's renamed. Linotype's version of Akzidenz Grotesk is now called Basic Commercial: http://www.linotype.com/114/basiccommercial-family.html

The fact that the font under the particular name and in a particular version is discontinued does not authorize anybody to share it. It is still copyrighted. Bitstream's versions of ITC fonts are no longer on sale, and yet the unauthorized distribution of them is certainly illegal.

Regards,
Adam

Thomas Phinney's picture

Besides agreeing with what Adam wrote, what is the root of his need for the font? It might be that his needs could be satisfied by somebody providing a PDF or EPS.

Regards,

T

rdesa's picture

Dear Adam;

Yes, perhaps that is illegal. But surely there would have been an impasse here: if it were discontinued how could one buy it? For someone who has it and after selling would keep a copy?

And what about, for instance, the old Berthold fonts? Berthold, as far as I know, went bankrupt. If I wish to have a Berthold font is it illegal to someone to give it to me? Perhaps it is, but how could one get it in such a case?

I understand the need to pay for fonts. I purchased a lot of them. I won't just pilfer them. But in the case I presented, I believe I am doing nothing ethically (as distinct from legally) wrong.

This, of course, is open to debate, but I follow ethics, not blind law. Law is meant to further ethics, but it is not ethics. When law is blatantly wrong (as in the case of Berthold fonts, should it decree that I am not at liberty to copy it) I am quite willing to break it, as I am doing no harm to anyone.

Dear Thomas:

No, I think he really needs the Akzidenz-Grotesk as a bases to make foreign alphabets. Anyway, I don't exactly know, or am not sure I am at liberty to say, but it seems to me to be a worthy cause.

Let me assure you that by stating what I believe is right I mean no disrespect from those who think otherwise; everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

Thanks for the answers,

Rodrigo de S

glutton's picture

Isn't it true that, when we pay for a font, technically we're not "buying" we're "licensing" -- and therein lies an interesting difference. I can draw a picture of Spider Man, but I couldn't sell prints without purchasing a license. Having the picture of Spidey is okay. Trying to make money with it is not okay.

So then, why couldn't Rodrigo's friend have a copy of the font as long as he didn't use it for commercial use?

I see no moral reason why this should not be the case.

Thomas Phinney's picture

He'd have to buy it from somebody who is willing to give up their copy. (For him to sell it but keep a copy is a particularly unwelcome form of piracy.) This is not much different from buying a car or a set of dishes that is no longer being made, except that breaking the law is easier with digital goods.

The Berthold version is still available. You can find the current incarnation of Berthold at http://www.bertholdtypes.com

As for using the font as a basis for making new fonts, unfortunately most licenses prohibit modifying the font that has been licensed. I gather Linotype's is in that category. So even if it were still available from Linotype, your friend couldn't do what he wants with it.

I'm not a lawyer of course, but these things seem like pretty clear violations of license agreements and copyright laws in most of the world. People are entitled to whatever opinions they want, but as far as I know legal systems do not generally recognize having a different opinion as a basis for breaking the law or violating a contract.

Regards,

T

hrant's picture

Dude, where's our lawyer?

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

see next post

dan_reynolds's picture

Rodrigo, I'm sorry to say that would you are asking for would be a EULA violation. Linotype Akzidenz Grotesk, as Adam pointed out, was never discontinued. The font files were just renamed.

Someone who has purchased a Gold CD from Linotype may not sell, or give individual font files to anyone else for any reason that is not delineated in their EULA (so, anything other than co-workers or service bureaus, etc.). That would be a EULA violation.

One the other hand, If someone had bought the old Akzidenz or new Basic Commercial as an "individual font file" from our web shop, they could transfer that license to you or to your friend, but they could not just give you the font. They would have to delete their own copy then as well. Anything else would be both illegal and immoral, because you would be getting something that you didn't rightfully pay for.

Linotype Akzidenz Grotesk and Basic Commercial will remain licensed products of Linotype's parent company Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG as long as Linotype and/or their parent company exist as coprporate entities.

Berthold Types in Chicago holds itself to be the legal successor company of H. Berthold AG. So, if you acquire an old Berthold font illegally, the new Berthold Types could still be justified in pursuing you as far as I know, because you WOULD be violating a EULA condition of their's, even if don't believe it!

Rodrigo, I would encourage you, or your friend, to just buy a copy of Basic Commercial from Linotype! A single weight just costs $22. Surely that isn't too much to pay for such a renowned design.
http://www.linotype.com/114/basiccommercial-family.html

That your friend only want to use the font for private or academic pursuits is unfortunately not a factor in purchasing decisions. You need to purchase a license for a font in order to use it on your computer, not just to create commercial work for clients.

I work at Linotype, and would be happy to answer any more licensing questions that you might have. You can contact me at any time offline, if you'd like.

glutton's picture

Anything else would be both illegal and immoral, because you would be getting something that you didn't rightfully pay for.

Getting what, bytes? I think it's absurd to take such a strict viewpoint on an unpurchasable typeface.

My opinion is that being so tight-assed encourages piracy. Being cool encourages compliance.

I know "font collectors" -- at least one of which is a regular here, and I'm not talking about me -- who seek out multiple &/or obsolescent variants of fonts for their collection. Say, Myriad MM -- they have no intention of ever using said font, they just want it. If they were to use a font in their collection for commercial work, they would immediately purchase a license.

That, in my opinion, is completely harmless -- and in fact promotes licensing in a try-before-you-buy sort of way. Trying to suppress that sort of activity is pointless and self-defeating. As the music industry has discovered, it is absolutely impossible to stop without liberalizing their business model or launching a few thousand lawsuits.

I know this is rehashing old arguments, but this discussion highlights what I think are some of the more unreasonable aspects of the EULA structure.

Being overly strict just drive people to Kazaa and Limewire, where they can download the Font Folio (or whatever) any time they want.

hrant's picture

> being so tight-assed encourages piracy.

Hear, hear.

The soft, human touch, always.

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

>Getting what, bytes? I think it's absurd to take such a strict viewpoint on an unpurchasable typeface.

John, it isn't an unpurchasable typeface

dan_reynolds's picture

Hrant, Rodrigo, I don't want to sound like a hard-assed prick, but what am I supposed to do if you come onto a public forum, and basically ask for a green light on finding an unlicensed copy of a font that is still a purchasable typeface?

I don't see how $22 is too much to ask for fair use. Linotype, and most other font foundries, are not some big mean faceless companies that are trying to take your money away from you.

hrant's picture

Dan, of course I'm not saying he shouldn't buy the font.

What I'm objecting to -and always have- is the hard-nosed legal-eagle claptrap. When you conclude the moral debate with something like "you are asking for would be a EULA violation", I say screw the EULA with a composing stick of 50 picas of 72 pt Cooper. People come first, not the Law.

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

EULAs protect people, too; just the people on the making and selling end rather than always on the buying end ;)

I don't disagree that EULAs should be standardized and reformed, but more quality typefaces exist because our (albeit sometimes inadequate) system of font licensing exists as well.

As you've pointed out in these forums below, there is a slipply slope: once you start "collecting" fonts as well as just buying them, you become more likely to use the non-licensed ones as well

John Hudson's picture

I think it's absurd to take such a strict viewpoint on an unpurchasable typeface.

As Dan and others have noted, Akzidenz-Grotesk is not an unpurchasable typeface.

The Tiro Typeworks' Type 1 retail fonts -- 1530 Garamond, Manticore, Aeneas, Academia -- are unpurchasable typefaces, so may make a useful example in discussion. We have withdrawn these fonts from the market and have no immediate plans to rerelease them in any format, so they will remain unpurchasable for some time, perhaps forever. Does this mean that people who have licenses for these fonts can share the fonts with other people in contravention of the original license agreement? No, it does not. The sale of the fonts has been discontinued, not the terms of existing license agreements. These fonts are the intellectual property of the designers, who have a moral and legal right to determine how, when and whether they are distributed. The fonts have been withdrawn from distribution for a reason: we don't want to sell them any more because we don't want them to be more widely used than they already are. If withdrawing them from distribution meant that anyone could freely pass them around, what would be the frigging point of withdrawing them? I take a very strict view on these unpurchasable typefaces.

hrant's picture

Nevermind Claude, of course...
Nothing totally belongs to individuals.

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

Butt don't the designers and programmers who revive new Garamonds deserve to be paid for their efforts if others choose to use them? Should Abobe not be permitted to license Adobe Garamond? Should all royalty payments to JFP for Sabon Next be cut-off? I think not.

No Garamond for sale today looks exactly like Claude's type

John Hudson's picture

Nevermind Claude, of course...
Nothing totally belongs to individuals.


Indeed not, and to properly annoy you I'll add that everything, ultimately, belongs to God. But the copyright to a specific bit of font software that is licensed under contract does belong, insofar as we own anything, to a particular individual or company. And that includes the right to decide whether or not that font software is available for sale.

hrant's picture

> don't the designers and programmers who revive new Garamonds deserve to be paid

Of course they do. But it's simply neither smart nor productive (I don't use "deserve" - I'm not a panty liner commercial) to claim total intellectual property rights on anything, much less a revival. It is humanly indecent.

Adobe can and should make and sell a Garamond. But getting a patent on it (even if it's "not really a patent, it's just called that") is highly offensive.

> No Garamond for sale today looks exactly like Claude's type.

But for example Tiro's 1530's claim to fame is that it does (at least in one size, and certain conditions).

> credit where credit is due.

I'm not talking about credit, but about ownership.

hhp

hrant's picture

> everything, ultimately, belongs to God.

That doesn't annoy me at all. I'm an agnostic, not an atheist.

> does belong, insofar as we own anything, to a particular individual or company.

You're talking about certain legal jurisdictions.
I'm talking about the basics of human society.

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

>I'll add that everything, ultimately, belongs to God.

Wow, John, I can't top that!

Hrant, now you're just nit-picking at certain word choices

John Hudson's picture

There are three players in the font market: consumers, resellers, and the people who actually make the fonts. And each of these is intent on furthering its own interests in opposition to the interests of the others. I make no apologies for defending the interests of the people who make fonts. This doesn't have to be an acrimonious struggle, and I'm very happy to talk about a reasonable balance in the pricing and licensing of fonts to end users (much more happy than I am to explain to a reseller that I'm not interested in the 20% royalties he wants to pay me in order to profit from my work). But I do object to consumers who think they have a right to my fonts, and can take them on whatever terms suit them, regardless of whether those terms suit me.

John Hudson's picture

You're talking about certain legal jurisdictions.
I'm talking about the basics of human society.


The basic conditions of copyright are widely accepted and incorporated into the laws of most of the world's countries. Why? Because they have been found useful to fostering creativity in human societies by recognising that the maker of a thing has certain rights of ownership which it is wrong for other people to assume to themselves.

I think your talk about 'basics of human society' is rationalising hogwash: what you are expressing is simply the 'I WANT' creed of the consumerist society you, at other times, claim to dislike.

hrant's picture

> because they have been found useful to fostering creativity

That's just convenient post-rationalization; as you might say, "you have no proof".

I think the main reason for the existence of copyright (just like the main reason for virtually any law, since law is created by the powers) is to maintain the status quo of power, to make the rich richer. It's about Control, while it should be about Fairness.

And I'm not pro-consumer, and certainly not pro-gluttony. What I am is for decency.
Simple example: the removal of the "non-mod" clause in EULAs.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Simple example: the removal of the "non-mod" clause in EULAs.

But you insist that this should be a blanket requirement, and refuse to acknowledge that there is ever a good reason for such a clause. You've never been on the receiving end of customer support calls at a major software developer, trying to help users figure out why a certain font is crashing their systems, only to find out that the font has been modified by some third party.

I'm in full agreement that there seems little need for most font EULAs to prohibit modification and -- hey, whadya know -- most EULAs do not prohibit modification. I think you are the one who is being unfair in insisting that all fonts should be licensed under identical terms, regardless of the nature of the font or its distribution. As William Blake wrote, one law for the lion and the ox is tyranny. One of the things you and I usually seem to agree on is that things are usually more complex than simplistic explanations or responses will allow. I think this is also true of font licensing, and if you want decency from the people who make fonts then you also need to show them decency, by asking for the things you want and, if they are not forthcoming, not just grabbing them.

hrant's picture

You should know by now that I'm no absolutist.
1) Of course I admit there are sometimes good reasons for the "non-mod" clause. It's just very rare, and the language of such clauses even more rarely corresponds to reality, to treating fellow humans decently. BTW, I have sometimes been in the sad position of taking support calls (including from a guy who had to be told that shifted characters need to have the Shift key held down the whole time the main key is being hit, not just once before...) but forgive me if I have trouble feeling sorry for MS, who was the font house to start the non-mod trend (as far as I can tell). BTW, you write "most EULAs do not prohibit modification", and if that's true, maybe my presistent pestering had some small thing to do with that? Because a few months ago when I claimed that only MS had such a clause, Simon pointed out that in fact most houses had it (at that point). So have they really gone back now? That would be good news.
2) BTW, I've never even mentioned that all fonts should be licensed under identical terms, much less insisted on it. You might be thinking of somebody else. Apparently you already realize how much I dislike unversality, so...

hhp

dewitt's picture

John, Blake didn't like laws and lawmakers, as it happened, didn't like him.

Excuse me for butting into the madness here. But while you're at this point of digression--why are there no-mod clauses?

I have no opinon about them. I'm not sure how modifying a font hurts its creator (or co-creator for those with the faith). I know cars are modified all the time.

I can see that many uglify fonts more than modify (take logos such as Hams, but, to go back to the car model, the same is true of Hondas and Nissans.

So what is the legal and business reasoning behind the no-mod fonts? Or is the reasoning creatively based?

John Hudson's picture

Of course I admit there are sometimes good reasons for the "non-mod" clause. It's just very rare, and the language of such clauses even more rarely corresponds to reality, to treating fellow humans decently.

Well, that seems a basic function of typical legalese. I went to some length to write the old Tiro EULA in plain English and to stress the ways in which respecting the EULA protected the user's investment, which is among other things an investment in the value of something that not everyone else has.

Because a few months ago when I claimed that only MS had such a clause, Simon pointed out that in fact most houses had it (at that point).

I don't recall Si saying that most font houses have this clause. In any case, I don't think it has ever been the case. Many font houses follow Adobe's lead, which has always been to allow modification.

What I do recall Si saying, which is also the point I have made whenever the MS EULA comes up, is that, excepting the rather special and generous case of the web fonts, MS do not have a EULA for fonts. Fonts distributed by MS are covered by the EULAs of the software packages with which they are bundled. The no-mod clause applied to fonts is simply that of the prohibition on decompiling or reverse engineering of the operating system, word processor, or what-have-you software. Microsoft, until now at least, have not singled out fonts in their software EULAs.

I think it is important to distinguish between fonts that are licensed directly in a retail market, and fonts that are bundled with software. I think the no-mod clause makes a lot of sense in the latter case, whether fonts are singled out in the EULA or not. MS is not a 'font house' in the sense that even Adobe is, let alone Agfa Monotype, Linotype, Emigre, House Industries, Hoefler & Frere-Jones, etc.

porky's picture

If the point of no-mod clauses is to stop an intermediatory (pardon my spelling) from corrupting a font to be passed on to an end user, then why not simply put a no-mod clause in the contract with the intermediatory, and let the end user modify (such as adding Welsh support to a typeface) as they wish for their own needs? Why not tell people that you wont support the fonts if they are modified, rather than banning modification?

If I buy a car and mess with the engine, I'd accept that it'd invalidate my warranty.

hrant's picture

> I'm not sure how modifying a font hurts its creator

1) It reduces the times clients have to go back to the maker to ask for mods, instead of paying somebody else to do it (presumably for less money) or doing it in-house.
2) It can cause telephone calls and emails asking for support on something that the maker is not really responsible for.

But to me both of those are [generally] unreasonable, because: #1 is beyond the decent limits of intellectual property; and #2 just means you have to spend a minute with the customer to verify authenticity - a normal cost of business.

--

> I don't recall Si saying that most font houses have this clause.

Just give me some time to track it down then.

> Microsoft, until now at least, have not singled out fonts in their software EULAs.

But I'm sure they at least realize they haven't, so in effect they agree with it. What, does it cost too much to ask the lawyers to add "except for fonts" in there?

hhp

reminiscor's picture

Dan, as you have raised Sabon Next, how much does the Tschichold estate get? Presumely he got a lump sum at the time and a percentage still goes to the estate or just into Linotype

hrant's picture

John, I couldn't find it. But I'm pretty sure he said it. Maybe he'll chime in himself.

BTW, I did find this:
http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/4101/32699.html

hhp

gabrielhl's picture

Since the modification issue popped up here, here's a (maybe stupid) question for all the experts who have posted in this thread.
When saying that you cannot modify a font, that means exclusively modifying the font files? An example - if I write something in a vector software (Illustrator, Freehand, whatever) using such a protected font, then transform it to oulines and edit that outline, am I breaking the no-modification clause?
Just curious.

dan_reynolds's picture

>If I write something in a >vector software (Illustrator, Freehand, whatever) using such a >protected font, then transform it to oulines and edit that outline, am >I breaking the no-modification clause? >Just curious.

No, you aren't any rules there. That doesn't change the font software at all. That is OK. Although, sometimes, it makes individual typeface designer sad that their letters didn't work for you :-( >

gabrielhl's picture

Well, but I don't get it then. In terms of intelectual property or authoring, I don't see the reason for one being allowed to modify the font shape but not the software. Although I understand it may generate the mentioned problems (corrupted files, problems with customer service, etc), but that's not author's protection, just avoiding annoyance.
As in the link Hrant posted. The girl was violating MS' user agreement just by modifying the font; the fact that she opened the file and edited it (because she wanted to tweak some letters) was a crime, right? Even if she if she would never use it, be it personally OR commercially.

But if she had set all her text in the same font, created outlines out of it and edited the outlines to fit her needs, then she would be able to do anything and would be not breaking the agreement?

What, then, is being protected?

dan_reynolds's picture

John, can you answer this? You could definitely word it better that I can.

Gabriel, most type foundries, at least the large ones, allow you to modify fonts anyway as long as you don't try to sell them to anyone else as you own work. So, this question isn't an enormous factor in the industry anymore.

What is protected is the data that makes font work. Once you are using the font legitimately for its intended purpose (designing in a computer application), you can do pretty much whatever you want with it. That is fair use.

Thinking about fair use is a good topic for further discussion.

Si_Daniels's picture

>John, I couldn't find it. But I'm pretty sure he said it. Maybe he'll chime in himself.

Hi,

A few years back I attempted to do something similar to Tiffany

Si_Daniels's picture

Unscientific survey based on MyFonts top 25

Linotype

hrant's picture

Good research, thanks.

> It's a 50/50 split

I think there's recently been a general shift towards allowing mods, so EULAs were more strict about a year or two ago.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

>I think there's recently been a general shift towards allowing mods,

I would agree with you there.

Cheers, Si

John Nolan's picture

Simon:
And yet, for Linotype a big NO if you buy from their site, unless you get permission and pay extra:

see http://www.linotype.com/1710/licenseagreement-folder.html#1
clause 1.7, 2.4, 3,2

I've found similar discrepancies with other fonts. If you buy ITC Bodoni from ITC you can't embed it without a special license, but Stone Type's EULA makes no mention of embedding. Buy MVB Celestia and you can't embed, buy Adobe's Celestia and you can, as long as you don't allow editing.

Caveat emptor for sure.

John Nolan's picture

Further, if you buy ITC Bodoni from Myfonts, you are given the Linotype license you refer to, and it allows read-only embedding AND design mods, while Stone Type's EULA does not allow modifications!

I should note that ITC's site includes smallcaps in the albeit higher price, while the other vendors do not, so that's a trade off one has to make against their EULA.

Still, I think the End User might be justified in feeling a little cheated if he purchased form Stone or Linotype. The limitations of the EULA aren't exactly featured when browsing for type, and one could easily slip up and buy from the wrong place.

hrant's picture

> designers need to respect the EULAs.

Respect, good idea. Unconditionally submit to, inhuman.

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

It seemed to me that last year as I emailed the various foundries to varify the information which Nathan and I had gathered changes were occuring. This was last year (October-January). I like to think that some changes came about because of my little essay. But mostly I'm just happy that the conversation was happening. Designers should not be afraid to voice their concerns with EULAs. But, at the same time designers need to respect the EULAs.

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