Designers, Beware Copyright Office Font Protection Reversal

By Jeremy Goldman (November 5, 2020, 5:12 PM EST) -- A decades-long, quietly simmering battle over the copyrightability of fonts is poised to flare into all-out war in light of recent and largely unreported developments at the U.S. Copyright Office.

The issue on the table is whether and to what extent fonts are subject to copyright protection. After years of registering digitized fonts, the Copyright Office seems to have reversed course, taking the position that font software — at least in one of its most common forms — does not qualify for copyright protection.

The implications of this apparent shift in policy at the Copyright Office are enormous for font designers,...

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