I was always under the impression that use of any font was okay as long as it was rasterised.
Here’s the big deal. Bienvenue is an exclusive corporate typeface. It was designed in 2000 by Jean François Porchez for France Télécom, the leading French telephone and internet company. The type family was developed in conjunction with Landor Associates, who redesigned the corporate identity. It is intended for use in all France Télécom communication and advertising. The typeface consists of a family of four variations, plus a branding font, a semiserif titling font, and a pictogram font. Because Bienvenue was nominated for Trophée d’Or de la Typographie in 2001, it is quite well known within the design community.
So in short Bienvenue is a proprietary typeface for France Télécom, for exclusive use within the company, and as such was never to be made available for the general public – they have worldwide exclusivity in perpetuity. Yet somehow the typefaces made their way to the font sharers and pirate sites, and have since then become an illegal fan favourite. For example a couple of years ago I personally had a very hard time convincing a French fashion giant that Bienvenue, which had been specified for one of their brands by the agency responsible for their corporate image, could not be used as it infringed the exclusivity of France Télécom.
Let us say that Nike shoes are sold exclusively in Nike shops. No-one else is authorised to sell Nike shoes. Adidas shoes are sold exclusively in Adidas shops. No-one else is authorised to sell Adidas shoes.
I mean, if you have files on your computer you ought to know where you got them and whether you are allowed to have them, which sounds pretty fucking reasonable to me.
Given the current environment on the Internet it should not be the job of the end user to ensure that every font, photo, file is legitimate and that all licenses have been paid.
Forget crazy shoe analogies: if an ad agency rips off a stock photo they don't have a license to, I think The Internet can pretty much agree that the behavior is not cool. Photographers gotta eat, and if you're going to make money off of somebody's work, you have to do it on their terms.
(see here, NBC ripped off Font Bureau's entire catalog for their promo material)
Font-related website uses unreadable font in own blog.
Every person must be aware where those fonts come from, and be very cautious of freeware and shareware. Some of it is fine, but the vast majority is of dubious quality.
Fonts are software. They are programs that control how letter vectors scale, how they are spaced, and how they implement typographic special effects. There's more to a .ttf (or in this case .otf) than just the letter shapes.
If you do what NBC did, which is buy one copy (and agree to a license, just like any other software!) and then distribute it around the company, it's not any different than buying one copy of Photoshop and duplicating it for the entire creative staff.
Also, Microsoft is a member of this club too.
Exactly. I've had clients balk at the cost of using a specific font, but I will not change designs (that are approved) because clients don't understand that the typographer gets his cut too, instead I prefer to take a small hit in my own pay making sure the typographer get theirs.
This would be the actual state of the law. Getting mad about it on the internet isn't going to help.
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