Re: Graphics for unicode scripts

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Fri Jan 19 2007 - 13:06:59 CST

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    On 19 Jan 2007, at 18:31, Thomas Dickey wrote:


    The WIPO Copyright Treaty, Article 4:
    says that "computer programs are protected as literary works...". So
    that include computer fonts, then.

    Essentially what is protected is the parts of the work that makes it
    creatively unique, it seems: There was a court case in the US, where
    the Beastie Boys paid a flutist copyright money for inclusion into
    their work a sequence of notes he played on a recording. Then the
    composer claimed copyright of this sequence of notes. The judge,
    however, ruled that the sequence of notes was too short to be
    creatively unique from the composing point of view. (Sorry, I do not
    have a reference, but it is, or was, on the Internet.)

    So, as a common law principle: a work may involve more than one
    copyright holder, but only the parts or portions of the work that is
    creatively unique is protected by copyright.

    Now, when it comes down to fonts, they should be likewise protected,
    but it can be tricky to figure out how. "Normal exploitation of the
    work", seems to imply that one who buys it has the right to create
    work with it, as that is a long established practice with fonts, and
    the public likely, giving only consideration to the font copyright,
    has the right to freely copy such work, but does not have the right
    to use the font itself to create new works. The owner of a copy has
    the right to sell that single copy, as that is the case of books, but
    subsequently, the new owner only has the right to use that particular
    single copy (or, rather, handle it within the scope of normal
    ownership, which may include lending it to someone).

    That is just my guess.

       Hans Aberg

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