An interesting article from WIRED describing two types of font piracy.
Plagiarism is the practice of any party “taking” an existing, authentic, copyrighted font from a reputable type designer, modifying the outlines and bezier curves (using font creation and editing tools) to create a derivative that looks different than the original, and renaming it with the intent of claiming it as their own original work.
In this scenario, all the extremely heavy lifting of the font design and creation was done by the original font designer – often taking years to complete. Editing the original creation from that point is relatively simple . . . and illegal.
Whether the derivative is sold or offered as a free font, this is still copyright infringement. All EULAs (end user licensing agreements) clearly state this is prohibited. “FREE” font websites are full of these fonts and are a risky place to download fonts for commercial use – they should be avoided.
The second type of piracy is outright theft. Simply using an unauthorized (and unpaid for) copyrighted font and using it for personal or commercial use.
Simply put – fonts are software. We’ve all been around long enough to know that not paying for software is against the law.
Be proactive. Let Font Shield help you manage your font licensing needs and mitigate your risk of litigation so you can get on with the business of selling your products and services.