July 8th, 2011 by Jim Kidwell
No, this isn’t another new book or movie in the fabulously successful Harry Potter franchise. It’s a new lawsuit for the misuse of a the very popular font, Cezanne Regular by NBC Universal in materials produced for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida.
According to TMZ, P22 Type Foundry has filed suit for 1.5 Million dollars because no one who is associated with the production of various shirts, bags, stationary and other items using the Cezanne Regular font ever purchased a license to use the font in this way.
This lawsuit just underscores how increasingly important it is to maintain a licensed font collection in any organization. While fonts aren’t typically copy-protected, they are licensed just like any other piece of software. In a fast paced creative environment, without the appropriate font management tools in place, it can be easy for an unlicensed “rogue” font to enter the workflow.
That’s likely what happened here. It’s possible that one of the creative users obtained a copy of a font, possibly from home or from the internet, and may even have had the intent of purchasing official licenses from P22 for the project. For whatever reason, appropriate licenses were not purchased, the font entered the workflow, and now NBC Universal has to deal these issues – not only for the lawsuit itself, but also for all of the costs associated with the lawsuit.
These types of issues can easily be resolved through the effective use of a server-based font manager, such as Universal Type Server.
With Universal Type Server installed and properly configured, this type of situation could have easily been prevented. All creative users are given access to the organization’s font collection through the server, and can be confident that the fonts they are using are fully licensed for use. Unlicensed font additions can also be automatically prevented through tight permission controls, and the implementation of System Font Policies to prevent users from adding fonts to their local machine.
Contact us to learn more about how Universal Type Server can help you get control over your team’s fonts and avoid these type of lawsuits.