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under active consideration in the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office has held hearings on proposed changes in typeface copyright regulations.

On January 7 the AIGA sponsored an open forum to air the various viewpoints. There was active audience participation by AIGA members and guests. This Statement of Position is an outgrowth of that meeting. It has been sent to Ms. Barbara Ringer, Register of Copyrights, and is for immediate release.

att: AIGA Statement of Position regarding copyright of typefaces.


New York, February 3, 1975.


INSTITUTE OF GRAPHIC ARTS, BY KARL FINK, PRESIDENT The American Institute of Graphic Arts numbers among its 1700 members both typeface designers and typographic consumers-graphic designers and graphics production people who design with and specify typography. In the current controversy over type design protection, the Institute has two concerns :

1. To exercise its influence and offer help to seek a solution which will, insofar as possible, serve the needs of the graphic arts professions.

2. To help create a climate in which type designers can work both creatively and with adequate recompense and in which graphic designers can be free to select type faces on the basis of appropriateness and aesthetic considerations without fear of legal entanglement.

AIGA is composed largely of creative people working in graphic communication, publishing, advertising, promotion, signage and other manifestations of visible language a broad representation of the users of typography.

To us, type is a vital part of the communications process. It is a means of creative expression. In our opinion, the outcome of current discussions will be an important factor in determining the future visual quality of American communication. It will most assuredly influence the future of typographic design in this country. It can help create conditions that nurture and support creativity or conditions that stifle creative thinking, experiment and innovation.

Most of us in AIGA know a great deal about type and its uses and little about legislation and its enforcement. Accordingly, in stating our views on the matter of type design protection, we will stick to our own area of expertise. We will state our needs, express our opinions on what is best in the way of a climate for producing good work, voice our concerns, points to pitfalls, and mention moves we believe would be detrimental. We make no recommendations as to what legislation or other governmental action will best achieve our goals.

However, we will, if asked, supply information and advice to legislators and Copyright Office personnel, will work with them in developing a system that satisfies the needs of graphic designers; we will lend our support to rulings or legislation which is consistent with those needs.

A typeface is a unique creative work which merits government protection against unauthorized copying. It is as deserving of such protection as a novel, a poem, a song or a drawing. After examining the options, we think that it can fall within the purview of amended Copyright Office regulations. But we prefer to state conditions and let others decide how best to do it:

1. We would like to see universal licensing of typefaces to all legitimate manufacturers. We consider it healthy to have type faces obtainable from more than one source, provided there is good quality control. Because type face designs are unique, they must be meticulously and accurately reproduced. Their extension to matrixes or grids for equipment other than that for which they were originally designed is to be carefully controlled by the original designer or design team. Only with this kind of quality control, which insures compatibility, can designers specify type with the assurance that their finished designs will reflect their graphic plans.

2. Because type faces are designed and selected—by name, AIGA feels that any copyright or design protection system must cover both design and name. AIGA welcomes licensing of type designs among a number of marketers. However, for the protection of users of type, we believe that the name for a type face must be recognizable and that the configuration of the type to which the name is assigned must be constant. Name and design should not be separable.

3. We are told that a possible effect of a change in copyright office regulationsalbeit a remote one-might be that an injunction could be obtained against printing of a book because the type in which is set is of questionable origin-an

unauthorized copy of a protected face. The author, publisher and printer would thereby become victims and suffer financial loss in a dispute between marketers of type fonts. We also understand that specific legislation could preclude such a circumstance.

Should typefaces become copyrightable, we feel there exists a temporary solution to this problem: book manufacturers could simply limit their designers and printers to use of type faces in the public domain-all faces that were standard prior to a change in regulations—until any danger of disruption of production schedules is eliminated by legislation.

4. AIGA wants to be certain that the costs of type composition remain reasonable that a royalty and licensing system will not inflate rates unfairly ; it also wants to be sure that any royalty or license charge will be collected only once, when the font or grid is sold. Moreover, we would oppose any change which placed restrictions for use of composed letters on the graphic designer, who must be free to alter or adapt as special graphic needs dictate.

5. There are obvious problems in determining whether a specific type face is, in fact, sufficiently original to merit granting of a copyright or in determining whether a type face is sufficiently like another to constitute an infringement of copyright. The differences which distinguish one type face from another are often subtle or minute; they might well seem insignificant to the layman. Yet these differences often prompt a designer to specify one face and reject another that seems almost the same.

To overcome this difficulty, and to minimize the amount of litigation that will inevitably result from copyrighting of type faces, AIGA recommends formation of an advisory group of typeface experts—specialists who understand the significance, or lack of significance, of differences in letter forms. This typographic panel could have several functions :

a. To serve as an advisory group to the U.S. Copyright Office and to legislators in promulgating effective typographic design protection laws and regulations.

6. To help establish criteria of originality (not aesthetic value) by when copyrightability or protectability of type faces can be determined on a regular basis.

0. To clarify, mediate or arbitrate disputes involving typeface designs. To serve as experts in mediation, arbitration or litigation.

We believe that an effective system of type design protection will foster more and better type design in this country. Arguments to the contrary seem to stem from fear and from the automatic tendency of business to resist assignment of additional powers to government bureaus. While the process of protection will require study and periodic refinement, we believe it will turn some fine American designers toward a challenging area in which they have not been able to afford to work of recent years. This will almost automatically follow when type designers are paid for their effort in proportion to the success of their product.

Now on Mergenthaler photocomp equipment Auriga,

a new letterform.

Matthew Carter has devised a new THIS IS BACK COVER OF "ART DIRECTION" ISSUE

roman letterform based on gothic structure OP MARCH, 1974PURLISHED

and logic: Auriga. The large and simple forms
BY ADVE TISINO RADE PUBLICATIONS, normal to sanscriss bring a del erate
IKC., 1977. LL ST., NEW YORK, simplicity and spaciousness to the traditional
N.Y. 20036

roman. The figure-ground relationship of
these large shapes and small block serifs
provides visually interesting letterforms in
display. It unites the wordshapes in text.
Auriga's structural innovation provides sound
legibility by simplifying detail. Less is more.
Auriga is truly a state-of-the-art typeface, the
latest typeface on Mergenthaler's latest
photocomposition system.

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Typeface copyright 1974, Elura Corp.

For a comprehensive specimen of the Auriga family of typefaces contact Ste*** Byers, Typographic Development Div. Meunthaler Lirotype Co, P. Box 82, Plainview, New York 11803; or telephone, area code 516, 694-1300, extension 385.



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