[Openfontlibrary] [Fwd: Re: "Fonts are protected are artistic works in the UK"]
rob at robmyers.org
Fri Nov 7 03:20:55 PST 2008
(Accidentally sent off-list. Merged with a follow-up also accidentally
sent off list. Please can we have reply-to-list as the default.)
The "typographic arrangement of a work" is the layout of a book, not
the design of a typeface. It is this that has a term of 25 years.
I assume the rationale is that it is an incentive/protection for
publishers who invest in nice design for books despite the underlying
texts being public domain or by authors who might switch to a
But see here:
"England recognized copyright in typeface at least as early as
1916. The current United Kingdom copyright statute, enacted in
1989, expressly refers to copyrights in typeface designs. The
British law also applies to designs produced before 1989."
The part of the act that deals with the artistic design of typefaces is here:
This does mention 25 years. But only in the context of marketing materials.
As for copyright on font programs, the code of the font is copyrighted
the same as any other program. A font program will have the same
copyright term as any other program AFAIK. And a software licence can
be applied to it.
This is a separate issue from copyright on the underlying typeface
design. Most resources will talk about typeface designs when they
actually mean font programs, and it's important to recognize when they
are doing this.
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