“Everything has been thought of before, but
the problem is to think of it again.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
On these spreads are words and letters that are original forms with marginally modified vector point data (extracted json data here is manipulated). They are meant to comment on the nature of protecting software and not the letterforms themselves, in the case of US legality around designers rights and outcomes.
In his article, ‘Extension of Copyright to Fonts
—Can the Alphabet be Far Behind?’, Jonathan Mezrich, explains:
“In February 1998, a federal district court issued a decision that may have a profound impact on the software industry. The court held, in Adobe Systems, Inc. v. Southern Software, Inc., that copyright law protects ‘software programs’ that create fonts that are distinct typefaces. This ruling is ill-conceived. While people should be rewarded and protected for their creativity, copyright law should not be extended to cover the ‘artwork’ inherent in font ‘glyphs,’ which, in their most basic form, comprise the alphabet itself.” (1998)
Mezrich highlights a problem: the alphabet is only redrawn, but re-drawing is not reinventing, nor it is precisely copying necessarily. Fonts are designed for their forms and not necessarily for their resulting point data. See: Extension of Copyright to Fonts—Can the
Alphabet be Far Behind?
These letters are marginally legible - also raising the issue of whether or not all letterforms have a solely utilitarian function. It is their utilitarian function that excludes them from designation as artworks. The pivotal case in this classification is the 1976 ELTRA CORPORATION, Appellant,
v. Barbara A. RINGER, Appellee
stating: "typeface is an industrial design in which the design cannot exist independently and separately as a work of art."
An influential article on the subject: To (C) or Not to (C)? Copyright and Innovation in the Digital Typeface Industry
by Jaqueline Lipton.