Volume 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, are you saying what I think you are?
August 3, 2012 8:09 AM Subscribe
Are bitmapped fonts still not copyrightable? How have you used bitmapped fonts in your work?
posted by ignignokt to Law & Government (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
According to the comp.fonts FAQ
, bitmapped fonts are not copyrightable:
The U.S. Copyright Office holds that a bitmapped font is nothing more
than a computerized representation of a typeface, and as such is not
"The [September 29, 1988] Policy Decision [published at 53 FR 38110]
based on the [October 10,] 1986 Notice of Inquiry [published at 51 FR
36410] reiterated a number of previous registration decisions made by
the [Copyright] Office. First, under existing law, typeface as such is
not registerable. The Policy Decision then went on to state the
Office's position that 'data that merely represents an electronic
depiction of a particular typeface or individual letterform' [that is, a
bitmapped font] is also not registerable." 57 FR 6201.
However, scalable fonts are, in the opinion of the Copyright Office,
computer programs, and as such are copyrightable....
Is this still true?
The reason I ask is that I'd like to make a font bitmap of Helvetica at a certain size for use in an executable that will be distributed to iOS devices and the web. (I'd use the system font, but the engine I'm using doesn't let me do that.)
I can't afford to consult a lawyer for this issue, unfortunately. I'd like to hear about cases involving this if there are any, as well as common practices surrounding bitmapped fonts.