Beware of ‘font infringement’

You may not often think about this, but there is a branch within intellectual property laws that covers the illegal use of fonts.

Most designers know this, and won’t recommend paying for a font for one use, and copying it for multiple clients. But wanna-be designers don’t always look at the details.

So this case of NBC being sued by the Font Bureau, may explain how tings work.

I found an interesting document at UNESCO, that goes back to 2003, which states that:

“…the most basic legal rule of font copyright is that unless the license specifically allows it, fonts cannot be shared among multiple computers, even if they are all owned by the same person or corporation, and fonts cannot be given away to others. In all cases the EULA is the authoritative source for specific licensing details.”

Just like software licenses, you can’t purchase a single-use license and use ita cross multiple businesses. Time to look for those errant fonts on the computers in your marketing department, don’t you think?

Tim Russert’s style

The sad news today for journalism –and NBC –of Tim Russert’s death makes us appreciate the kind of journalists we so often take for granted. You could watch Tim, and see his genuine curiosity seep out of his eyes, and you could almost feel he was asking the question you would have if you were in the studio/oval office.

I didn’t realize he had been hosting Meet The Press for so long. That word, the ‘Press,’ has gone through many incarnations, but the type of reporting, analysis and perspective Russert brought to journalism never wavered. He never seemed happy with the glib, half-hearted or spun answer.(see how doesn’t get Clinton and Obama off the hook) which gave him the notion of being “tough.” But I like to think of him as being something else: honest to his audience.

Anne Thompson on the environment

I am a huge fan of NBC Nightly News, as you may tell from my many references to Brian William’s different approach to the anchor’s role.

So it was great to meet Anne Thompson last week, as she covered ASU on her new environment beat. What’s an environmental beat? It’s intersting how until about six months ago, there were only three pillars to this category: Going Green, Climate Change, and Al Gore.

Anne does not frame it in the limited ‘climate change’ box as so many conveniently do, and was excited to hear how sustainability (the fourth part in this category) is such a hot (or is it cool?) major here. She was not interested in the hit-and-run questions that, say, Fox would go after (You know: “New at six, why some college students are not recycling their plastic bottles and pizza boxes…“) but the deep ones about what it means to a desert state, and what kind of new “scientists” are coming through the system to meet the sustainability challenges.

Appropriately, some of the interviews were at the Decision Theater, not just a backdrop to the topic, but a place where we confront these issues, as part of the Global Institute of Sustainability.

Stay tuned!