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60 day truce in Adobe fonts blitz

Wednesday, 11 July 2001
By Print 21 Online Article

An Adobe initiated truce – focusing specifically on the use of unlicensed fonts- followed an outcry from the printing, graphics and advertising industries at the prosecutions threatened by the company against the widespread industry practice of sending fonts with files to printers. Many companies in the prepress and printing industries do not own all the fonts that their customers are sending them to output. It is illegal for prepress shops and printers to use the fonts if they do not already posses a copy themselves.

Adobe’s truce is focusing only on fonts and “is designed to give consumers more time to understand the complexity of what being legal with fonts actually means. The truce does not include other Adobe products such as Adobe PhotoShop or Adobe Acrobat, users of which must comply with licensing requirements.”

Adobe, which is the world’s second largest supplier of desktop software, launched its own 60 day font policy following the BSAA’s (Business Software Association of Australia) truce which ended on 30 June and was initially introduced to give people time to clean up on their usage of unlicensed software with no questions asked.

Adobe identifies the main areas where illegal use of fonts occurs. These include:

* using an Adobe font in the creation of artwork, or web sites without a valid licence; the Font may have been supplied by a customer or even downloaded from the web
* companies who have a specific corporate font supplied without purchasing a valid licence for each of those fonts, or those purchasing additional licences as their number of computers grow
* supplying an Adobe font to a customer or service provider who does not own their own copy of the same Adobe font
* having the incorrect number of font licences for the number of computers on which they are installed
* having fonts installed on more output devices or RIP’s than the font licence provides for.

During the truce, individuals and companies can register by calling the Adobe
Piracy Hotline, on 1300 882 546. They will then be issued with a Truce Participation Number that gives an organisation or individual ‘immunity’ during the software truce to dispose of illegal copies of fonts or discuss the purchase of font licences with Adobe Systems, provided they comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Software Truce.

Victor Guerrero, Anti-piracy Manager of Adobe Systems said, “Many companies do not intentionally pirate fonts, but rather don’t know what is legal and what isn’t. We are giving users another 60 days to understand the licensing issues specific to Adobe Fonts and sort out any breaches of illegal licence usage.

“From 1 September we will be pursuing companies and industries who have not cleaned up their act.”

To help people understand the issues around Fonts, Adobe has developed an educational brochure including frequently asked questions on Piracy and Font Licensing. It is also hosting a series of seminars in July for targeted markets who are most affected. A free hotline is also available at 1 300 882 546 for companies wanting more information.

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