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Re: figlet fonts - GPL-ok?

On Mon, Aug 20, 2001 at 11:34:08AM -0500, Steve Greenland wrote:
> On 18-Aug-01, 22:46 (CDT), Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> wrote: 
> > Bitmapped fonts are not copyrightable in the United States.
> >
> > Hinted fonts, because they contain what could be construed as
> > algorithmic or programmatic constructs, are copyrightable.
> That sounds more like a distinction for a patent than a copyright.

I don't understand your reasoning here.

> I can copyright a painting (or rather, copyright applies to paintings,
> photography, and other visual works).

A moment's reflection will reveal that letterforms are not quite the
same thing as paintings, photographs, and other visual works.

> Has there been a published decision that copyright doesn't apply to
> bitmap font?

I'll see if I can find one for you, but if I recall correctly it is
regarding as following from legal handling of old molten-lead
typography, wherein the engraved plates ("fonts") used for printing
enjoyed legal protection, but their visual analogues on paper (the
"typeface") did not.  In other words, if you were to design and cast
your own font using your own labor after visually inspecting someone
else's typeface, you were perfectly free to do so.

A bitmap was held to be more like a typeface than a font, for obvious

Again, I'll see if I can find a cite for you.

G. Branden Robinson                |    I must despise the world which does
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    not know that music is a higher
branden@debian.org                 |    revelation than all wisdom and
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    philosophy. -- Ludwig van Beethoven

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