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33 posts

Sites Redistributing daFont Fonts

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Apr 01, 2010 at 11:59

I'm amazed by the amount of shoddy sites out there that make a living from crawling daFont.com and redistributing the font .zip packages alongside ads. I've had to personally contact these sites to remove my fonts from their sites with mixed results (mostly positive); just yesterday I was offered money to keep my two free fonts listed, an offer which was flattering but immediately rejected. This "offer" demonstrated that this redistributing must be profitable and has given me more reason to hound down these sites.

As an author and/or user do you think this redistribution is right, why/why not? And should font downloads be restricted to registered members to make these "font crawlers" job harder?

Domenico.


Apr 03, 2010 at 23:33

Yeah, I've spent the better part of two days before writing these sites and issuing cease and desist letters. I work hard on my fonts and only want them listed where I can keep track of them.

Having said that... what is the legality of what they're doing (for anyone that knows). I don't want to sue, but I do want to keep my fonts on this site and this site ONLY.

-- J


Apr 04, 2010 at 13:42

JasonArthur said  (view post)
I work hard on my fonts and only want them listed where I can keep track of them.

My exact sentiments. Unfortunately the only people that understand the hard work put into fonts are those that have done the hard work. Obviously the creators of these daFont clones haven't made a single font.

I'm not sure about the legalities elsewhere in the world, but here in Australia, copyright is automatically granted to the designs which make up my fonts and redistributing the font without authorisation (like the clone sites have done) is illegal, at least here. Regardless of whether it's legal or illegal in other countries it's morally wrong to steal someone else's product (free or paid) and make profit from it by flashing advertisements to unsuspecting users.

I definitely don't want to sue; it's a little extreme. But I do want to see registration and login as a requirement to download fonts on daFont because I'm certain this copying and redistribution isn't done by hand, if it is done by hand this system would allow for download quotas or keeping tabs on accounts downloading everything and blocking them if necessary.


Apr 05, 2010 at 21:35

not being able to keep track sucks. I created a font that was #1 on here for a while, and it started popping up all over the place. like wildfire you can't keep track of A: who's stealing your font and B: how popular it actually is. ... or isnt.


Apr 10, 2010 at 02:38

If any of those websites have advertising on them, and they usually do, they are actually ripping DaFont off, by attracting people to their website with our fonts collected by DaFont. They're not only using our work without permission, they're also stealing attention that could be coming to DaFont.


Apr 10, 2010 at 03:14

danielpoeira said  (view post)
If any of those websites have advertising on them, and they usually do, they are actually ripping DaFont off, by attracting people to their website with our fonts collected by DaFont. They're not only using our work without permission, they're also stealing attention that could be coming to DaFont.

That's a very good reason for DaFont to pursue this; they're essentially making money from daFont's and the font Authors' hard work.

I'd be really great to hear what Milan has to say, if he knows this is going on and if so, if he has tried contacting these sites with any success and what the sites have said (if anything), such as reasons for keeping stolen fonts.


Apr 10, 2010 at 11:57

Hello, I understand that you are angry, but it's impossible to totally control the spreading of the fonts (or any downloadable thing on the internet...)

And if the downloads were restricted to registered members only, this wouldn't stop anything, this would only cause the end of dafont (99% of the visitors would go at the other sites where they can freely download it) and the progress of the other sites in the Google results, those that you don't like and that sometimes don't mention the author and/or remove the text files (I'm not talking about the serious sites like www.abstractfonts.com, www.1001fonts.com or www.fontspace.com)

Concerning "pursues", it's useless since:
1. there are also some fonts here that have not been uploaded by the authors themselves,
2. dafont doesn't own any rights on the fonts,
3. even if it owned something, I don't have the time and the money to sue.

So my only matter is that dafont stays in the first results when you google for "font" or "fonts" (before the other sites that you don't like)
And in your interest you may focus on this too Well, dafont or the other serious sites like I said, that credit you etc., in order to assure that a maximum of people are aware of the author...


Apr 10, 2010 at 17:45

Wow, thank you for the prompt and in-depth reply!

Firstly angry's an overstatement, if anger were the case I would have asked you to strip my fonts from this site immediately. I'm mostly surprised how many shoddy sites are doing this. I'm well aware the openness of the internet makes it hard to control files spreading but at the same time I can't understand it being impossible to at least curb spreading. You've ruled out downloads for registered members but how about captchas, slowing down or blocking IPs that are downloading hundreds of fonts each day or blacklisting bots that are doing the same (I can't imagine the shoddy site owners doing this manually unless they're bigger losers than I thought).

I know it takes time to look out for this crap and fix it but doesn't it just annoy you slightly what's happening? At the end of day making the shoddy sites' job harder makes daFont a better place for users and authors.

P.S. By "pursue" I meant to go after the issue; sending a letter or finding a solution other than suing (I'm not sure if you thought that because the word "sue" is in "pursue" ), as I mentioned above suing is "a little extreme".

Hmm, just thinking about letters, considering my letters to the most of these sites have been successful how about we setup an open online petition on this issue for font authors that we can send out to these shoddy sites, you mentioned daFont has no rights but a petition filled by the rights owners would be quite powerful and perhaps legally binding (correct me if I'm wrong anyone).


Apr 10, 2010 at 18:06

Maybe we could update the user agreement for foundry's on this site to include an exclusivity clause. Something stating that we give DaFont exclusive rights to host our font? That way we could point to that in writing and say, "look (illegal site) we have it in writing and you've clearly violated the terms of use. Cease and Desist. If it happens again then you'll be subject to legal action as this is a clear violation of United States Copyright law."

Make sense?

I know that another site that I use for some of my day job work, Best Brands of The World, requires you to agree to terms and conditions by checking a simple little click box before your download link appears. Seams an easy solution to me. Thoughts?

-- J


Apr 11, 2010 at 01:01

hey jason
your thing about violation of United States Copyright law could make sense if the websites were hosted in the US.
just read the funny letters of Linotype / PirateBay you can find on this page : http://thepiratebay.org/legal

anyway, i just wrote to the guy at fonts2u.com (kind if dafont clone) to remove my fonts from his site, his answer was :
"Just wondering why you want to remove it, as it seems to be free for personal use without distribution restricton and featured on many fonts sites"
but he removed all my fonts after a couple of emails

so yeah, maybe we should just add distribution restriction on the readme file we enclose with the fonts, this could be a good start.

Edited 2 times. Last edit on Apr 11, 2010 at 01:03 by daaams


Apr 11, 2010 at 03:03

You don't need to write any thing about exclusive rights to daFont or anything like that into a font license; just (if your font editor allows it) write it plain and simple into to the font file's copyright or information section: "Redistribution is prohibited ...". Violate that and you violate the license, then the user has no right to use the file. It's what I do with all of my fonts, free and commercial. The readme file is good as a secondary but the information in the font stays with the user for as long as they use the font.

The Pirate Bay Linotype letters are pretty funny, especially by using different fonts to write the letter (not sure if they're all Linotype fonts though). At the end of the day though the Pirate Bay is a torrent tracker and isn't hosting the files like these daFont clones.

What do you guys think of the petition idea I mentioned above? Ultimately we would have a statement telling these sites to stop redistributing and it would all be backed by many daFont font authors, it would save individual authors from sending their own requests to these sites and it would be much more powerful.


Apr 12, 2010 at 00:07

With fonts that are free for personal use the licensing is fundamentally the same as with commercial fonts. The author/owner determines the conditions. As d[esign] writes it is up to the author/owner to make sure that the naming section holds all the licensing rights and obligations. The section to do this is not the copyright and/or trademark section but the other sections which allows for plenty of text.
If you want your font only to be distributed through Dafont mention it in the font vendor section, a short line like This font (preferably the font mane) may only be distributed by dafont.com. Include the link to dafont. Put your name in the font designer section and include a link to yourself, be it only an email address. Include, as said, the license agreement, which can be short if you link to the complete EULA.

That is the easy part. Anyone can do that, but many don't. The number of requests we get on Abstractfonts for a link to or an email address of a font designer because people want to use a font commercially and want to pay for that are uncountable.

The not so easy part is that you will have to keep the links in the naming section alive. If you include a link to yourself and the EULA you must make sure that that link will always stay live so that you can be contacted. So if you post your EULA on a site, yours or somebodyelse's, make sure that you keep that site up. If you include an email address make sure that that email address will always be valid, and, check it until you die.

d[esign] writes "if your font editor allows it". Well, if it doesn't have a look at fontcreator ( high-logic.com, windows) where how to do this is perfectly explained:

Font Vendor. Manufacturer Name. In this case distributor name

Font Vendor Link. URL of font vendor (with protocol, e.g., http://, ftp://). If a unique serial number is embedded in the URL, it can be used to register the font.

Font Designer. Name of the designer of the typeface.

Font Designer Link., URL of typeface designer (with protocol, e.g., http://, ftp://)or at least a valid email address.

License Agreement. Description of how the font may be legally used, or different example scenarios for licensed use. This field should be written in plain language, do not legalese.

License Agreement Link. URL where additional licensing information can be found.

Description. Description of the typeface. Can contain revision information, usage recommendations, history, features, etc.

Compatible Full (Macintosh only). On the Macintosh, the menu name is constructed using the FOND resource. This usually matches the Full Name. If you want the name of the font to appear differently than the Full Name, you can insert the Compatible Full Name in this field.

Preferred Family (Windows only)., In Windows, the Family name is displayed in the font menu; the Subfamily name is presented as the Style name. For historical reasons, font families have contained a maximum of four styles, but font designers may group more than four fonts to a single family. The Preferred Family and Preferred Subfamily IDs allow font designers to include the preferred family/subfamily groupings. These IDs are only present if they are different from fields Font Family name and Font Subfamily name.

Preferred Subfamily (Windows only). In Windows, the Family name is displayed in the font menu; the Subfamily name is presented as the Style name. For historical reasons, font families have contained a maximum of four styles, but font designers may group more than four fonts to a single family. The Preferred Family and Preferred Subfamily fields allow font designers to include the preferred family/subfamily groupings. These fields are only present if they are different from fields Font Family name and Font Subfamily name.

Sample Text. This can be the font name, or any other text that the designer thinks is the best sample to display the font in.

PostScript CID Findfont Name. Its presence in a font means that the Postscript name field in the Naming window holds a PostScript font name that is meant to be used with the "composefont" invocation in order to invoke the font in a PostScript interpreter.

This field must be restricted to the printable ASCII subset, codes 33 through 126, except for the 10 characters: '[', ']', '(', ')', '{', '}', '<', '>', '/', '%'.

Good luck.


Apr 15, 2010 at 14:12

d[esign] said  (view post)
how about captchas, slowing down or blocking IPs that are downloading hundreds of fonts each day or blacklisting bots that are doing the same (I can't imagine the shoddy site owners doing this manually unless they're bigger losers than I thought).

Captchas would probably annoy human visitors even more than having to register, and I'm pretty sure that these webmasters do it manually (perhaps not when they build the site, but at each update...)

I know it takes time to look out for this crap and fix it but doesn't it just annoy you slightly what's happening? At the end of day making the shoddy sites' job harder makes daFont a better place for users and authors.

P.S. By "pursue" I meant to go after the issue; sending a letter or finding a solution other than suing (I'm not sure if you thought that because the word "sue" is in "pursue" ), as I mentioned above suing is "a little extreme".

Yes that annoys me, and I'm even more annoyed when they also clone the site layout and programming, but the fact is that I don't imagine one second losing my time and energy tracking the new clones + their further updates and the updates of the existing ones, sending them letters for each added font etc. And even if I did it, only the most honnest ones would respond anyway.
I've seen tons of clones in the past years, they usually live a few months/years and then disappear, and new ones appear... I don't care since they stay in deep of the Google results.

Hmm, just thinking about letters, considering my letters to the most of these sites have been successful how about we setup an open online petition on this issue for font authors that we can send out to these shoddy sites, you mentioned daFont has no rights but a petition filled by the rights owners would be quite powerful and perhaps legally binding (correct me if I'm wrong anyone).

I'm not certain of the efficiency of a petition, but why not...
(and I think like the others that filling/updating the readme files and font fields with your conditions is the basic thing to do)

Edited on Apr 15, 2010 at 16:38 by Rodolphe


Apr 15, 2010 at 15:54

You're very good at putting forward a persuasive argument; the most reassuring thing you said there was "they usually live a few months/years and then disappear". I didn't know that and learning that now demonstrates these sites are running off a not-so-profitable business model, which makes me happy as they really are trying to make money from stealing.

I'm not certain of the efficiency of a petition, but why not...

I like "but why not"; lets go with that! Considering font authors who have come across this thread have voiced they dislike what's going on I'm pretty sure such a petition would fill up pretty quickly if it were made visible to all authors on this site, it'd eventually be something which can be emailed to the clone sites much like what individual authors send out to these sites but with many more authors backing it up.


Apr 19, 2010 at 06:36

I think that, when you're making freeware fonts, any publicity is good publicity. The whole point of making a free font is that you hope other people will download it, and, if you're really lucky, they'll actually install it, and use it for something. I'm probably not the only one who has thousands of unopened font zips, downloaded and squirelled away, like at the ending of "Raiders of the Lost Ark". If other sites want to host some of my fonts, I have no problem with that. I google my own stuff occaisionally, and I find it interesting when some site in Brazil, Germany or Viet Nam have decided to exhibit one or two of them. As long as the read me is included with the .zip, I have no problems with other sites making them available. There's always the possibility that someone will discover one's work on an obscure site, and do a search to find more work by the same font author. If downloads from another site reduce my dafont statisticss by a little bit, it's not the end of the world.


Apr 19, 2010 at 10:56

If other sites want to host some of my fonts, I have no problem with that.

I wouldn't have a problem with it as well if they actually asked for the files (to begin with, rather than ask when you want them off) and did it to genuinely provide free fonts to the world rather than making a quick buck from ad banners.

I find it interesting when some site in Brazil, Germany or Viet Nam have decided to exhibit one or two of them

Admittedly, I found it quite interesting to see my free fonts on a Chinese site; I don't even have any Asian glyphs in my fonts.

Edited on Apr 19, 2010 at 11:07 by d[esign]


Apr 19, 2010 at 15:48

Well, the problem with thinking any publicity is good publicity is that, while my fonts are free for PERSONAL USE, some of these sites remove my notation that commercial use requires a licensing fee.

That means money out of my pocket.

-- J


Apr 19, 2010 at 19:40

I see my fonts on movie posters, band stickers and the occasional blog. I do get emails asking about fonts and sometimes a donation trickles into paypal. but I still feel like i'm not getting compensated adequately for commercial use.

just sucks.


Apr 19, 2010 at 20:22

JasonArthur, I looked at Rough Typewriter, and you have very clearly stated the terms of use in the read me, license doc, and also in the license information stored within the font.

d[esign], I looked at Pic0, and your terms are stated in the .png graphic, but there is no read me or license doc, and the only terms of use stated within the font itself are '...do not redistribute...', which is somewhat vague, and subject to personal interpretation. In the current version 1.1, you have, however, included license instructions in the .png graphic.

If you have FontLab Studio5, you may want to read the internal license information in Rough Typewriter, as the wording is very explicit and legally sound. If you don't have Studio5, the license information is included on the downloads page for Rough Typewriter at abstractfonts.com

I'm not sure what changes you made to this font between the v. 1.0 from May, 2009, and the v. 1.1 from January, 2010, but the .png graphic has changed completely. In the older version of the .png, you state "Like Pico but free, hence the name Pic0", but the notation that "Pic0 is free for personal use" is in light gray text, only five pixels high, which makes it easy to miss, and unable to be read unless the graphic is magnified.

It should be noted that the name of your font, when pronounced, is "Pic zero", as opposed to "Pick-Owe". "Pico" is a font designed by Masayuki Sato for Maniackers Design in 2008, (his font doesn't resemble yours). Perhaps you could tell us the font to which you were referring in the "Like Pico but free..." graphic from v 1.0


Apr 20, 2010 at 11:37

I'm happy with the information contained within my fonts. "Vague" is your opinion, I think "Do Not Redistribute" is clear if you understand English. I can't see how it can be interpreted differently; would someone think "Do Not Redistribute" means don't redistribute your computer screen because it's showing that text on it?

I'm not sure what changes you made to this font between the v. 1.0 from May, 2009, and the v. 1.1 from January, 2010, but the .png graphic has changed completely. In the older version of the .png, you state "Like Pico but free, hence the name Pic0", but the notation that "Pic0 is free for personal use" is in light gray text, only five pixels high, which makes it easy to miss, and unable to be read unless the graphic is magnified.

How is that relevant if I've fixed it (better still, how is it relevant to this discussion)? New designs are created to solve design problems; small grey text was one of those problems. I honestly didn't think it needed to be big, but I was wrong and now it's big and there's a link to obtain a commercial license and it also says "thanks for downloading Pic0 from dafont.com" so it's clear where it originates from unless the poster's been removed.

It should be noted that the name of your font, when pronounced, is "Pic zero", as opposed to "Pick-Owe". "Pico" is a font designed by Masayuki Sato for Maniackers Design in 2008, (his font doesn't resemble yours). Perhaps you could tell us the font to which you were referring in the "Like Pico but free..." graphic from v 1.0

Pico is the first commercial pixel font I made, then I created another pixel font called Zepto (my first free font) and after seeing how many people downloaded it on MyFonts.com I wanted to distribute a free version of Pico, to make it fair for the people who bought (and buy) Pico commercial licenses, I released a trimmed version called Pic0 which is pronounced the same but with the whole H4x0r naming thing which was also indicative of its $0 price. The name Pico came to me because it's a prefix for SI units with a factor of 10^-12 which is quite small, like the font (not 10^-12 small but you should get the gist), but mostly it had a nice ring to it. I hope that answers what I was referring to in the statement "Like Pico but free".



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