Dear Ph. D. Osamu Aoki, We respond to your questions as follows. 1. Reason for Using the Vague Word "Right" Our font in question is not an artistic copyrighted product but a font used in ordinary communications. It is not subject to copyright in the official Japanese regulations, either. In addition, it is said that font is quite similar to software. However, there is no industrial property right in font in the Japanese industry, unlike software. To be successful in the competition of business, we use every imagination and effort in font design which result in the investment of enormous amount of money, time and human resources. There have been many typeface/font lawsuits in Japan which did not reach final judgement but settled out of court through arbitration of a public organization. It is the opinion of arbitrators that some kind of a right belongs to the manufacturer for its originality and investment. Therefore, we judge that: - we have the property right for this font, and - our property right is protected by the law for prevention of unfair competition in Japan. 2. Applicable Country/Region In our claim, we used the word "right" by course of Japanese custom. We created this font by investing tremendous amount of money and resources and currently sell them as our goods. However, our font is being used without our consent and is interfering with our business. We naturally believe that our right shall be protected in many countries/regions in the world. 3. Usage Approval We have made the claim upon the above background. On the other hand, we recognize the fact that some products which utilize our right have been used to contribute in IT promotion activities. Therefore, it is not our intention to claim any compensation for damage, etc. Our intention is to provide usage right, within the range which does not impact our business, upon a new contract. −−−−− Best regards, Yuji Koami Hitachi Printing Solutions, Ltd. Osamu Aoki <email@example.com> 送信者: Osamu Aoki <firstname.lastname@example.org> 2003/10/13 01:27 宛先: email@example.com cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com 件名: Question on "Infringement of Font Rights" To: Hitachi Printing Solutions, Ltd. Business Planning Dept., Business Strategy Division Shinagawa Intercity Tower A, 21st floor, 1501 Konan 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-6020 Japan Tel: +81-3-5783-0698 Fax: +81-3-5783-0320 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Mr. Yuji Koami, It came to my attention that your claim to "Infringement of Font Rights" is likely to cause deletion of several fonts from one of the leading GNU/Linux distribution, Debian.  http://www.hitachi-printingsolutions.com/topics/release/030929.html  http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200310/msg00142.html  http://www.debian.org I am not here to discuss righteousness of your claim nor facts behind your claim at this moment. I have specific questions for the clarification of ambiguity in your statement below. > (1) Right of Hitachi-TB 32 dots Mincho Font > The above font has been co-developed by Hitachi and TB; thus, the font > belongs to Hitachi and TB. Therefore, Hitachi-TB 32 dots Mincho font > may not be created, disclosed or distributed without the consent of > both companies. To me, following issues are unclear: 1) What kind of legal ground guarantees the developer of the font set to claim "ownership" as stated above? 2) What kind of legal ground guarantees the "owner" of the font set with such exclusive controlling rights over distribution, modification, and use of the font set? Since there are many laws in the world, please clarify the following countries: a) Japan b) U.S.A. c) EU (If difficult, for Germany, France and England) Please do not just simply state "Intellectual property law". Please be specific. I am very keen to know whether these legal grounds are either "copyright law" or "patent law". As you understand, without clarifying these critical issues, your claim has no convincing legal grounds to force others to follow your wish. Your response and clarification on this matter is most appreciated. Thank you for your attention and best regards, Osamu Aoki, Ph. D. (email@example.com) Brussels, Belgium PS: Although I am a member of Debian project, this question was sent as my personal question. I CCed several mailing lists to make this known to the people interested hoping to reduce many people asking the same question. (I did not consult anyone for this mail.) PS2: I personally think that copying a carefully created font data without consent is not a nice thing to do in terms of moral. I trust your claim on the history behind these fonts too. At the same time, acting on your claim without checking legal ground of the claim in a friendly and open environment seemed bad precedence for non-profit volunteer organization such as Debian. PS3: I was the user of some of the fonts in question as an innocent third party. I will avoid using these for commercial purpose considering the risk may not be worth. Thus I owe nothing to Hitachi Printing Solutions, Ltd..
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