Font Piracy at Universities

This documentary by Danielle Hall explores why font piracy among graphic design students is so common and what could possibly be done against it. Through interviews with type designers, a copyright lawyer, university administration, type professors, and graphic design students, this documentary sheds light on all angles of this issue.



  1. Raphaël 2012/11/13 at 10:44 PM #

    Graphic design students and teachers must understand that open source is one of the major current answer to this issue.

  2. Ralf Herrmann 2012/11/26 at 9:10 AM #

    How so?
    I think the students in the interviews made it pretty clear which typefaces they want to use and why.
    OpenSource doesn’t help in this regard at all.

  3. Trevor Ramage 2012/12/06 at 7:37 PM #

    With services like Typekit and even google web fonts there is really no reason to use stolen typefaces on the web.

  4. Tyler Darden 2013/01/21 at 4:40 PM #

    As a typography instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University, I have approached type foundries to make a package for student purchase. Only once have I received a response and they made a package of two families available at a discount. The foundries need to work with the instructors to get the students legal copies and the instructors should in turn recommend or require a font family purchase from students. This practice would reinforce the value in font families and provide the opportunity to demonstrate to students how to craft layouts with full sets of font weights and widths.

  5. Ralf Herrmann 2013/01/21 at 4:51 PM #

    Surprising that you got little response. As someone who also offers font licenses, I think there is now doubt that students should get large discounts for fonts, in the same way as they get discounts for design software.
    I our webshop at you can get any font 30% off if you are a student or even a teacher.

  6. Rose Matsa 2013/01/26 at 7:00 PM #

    When I was a student I was a big fan of underware fonts, and so I had emailed them about using the Auto family in a project. They kindly sent me copies of all of their typefaces at the time (Auto, Bello, Sauna) to freely use in my student projects. I have bought a license for Bello since. I hope to be able to afford their other faces soon.

    Of course, underware is a small foundry and so was able to help me in this way, but I’m sure bigger foundries can find a way to allow students and teachers to use their fonts without having to pay.

  7. christian kahr 2013/08/19 at 12:48 PM #

    in a certain way i feel not very comfortable if you see young design students being treatened in the first sequences of the video as some kind of criminals. open type and webfonts really spread out the way you can use typefonts, but don’t forget that the big foundries like adobe or fontshop have just bought a lot of typefaces to declare it their own property, but that’s not. the are just resellers of the most common used fonttypes used in most media. here is an article about the issue that font-families are now sold as software-bundles, which is indeed a common practice used in the type-industry. but it’s not legal as well. here is an article (in german language) that focuses on the fact, that type-families are not software bundles.

  8. Ralf Herrmann 2013/08/19 at 12:53 PM #

    Der Artikel von Herrn W.B. ist Unfug und eine typische Verschwörungstheorie. Herr B. will bestimmte Leute schädigen und dazu ist im jedes Mittel (auch Polemik und Lüge) recht.

    Eine ausführliche und mit Quellen unterlegte Darstellung zum Thema Schriftlizenzen gibt es hier:

  9. christian kahr 2013/08/19 at 1:16 PM #

    ich denke ich kann das jetzt nicht beurteilen ob sich bei der anmerkung von herrn wolfgang beinert um eine verschwörungstheorie handelt, vielmehr ist es ein kommentar. mein einblick ist aber zu gering und ich kenne weder ihn noch Sie. falls ich jemals in die lage kommen sollte eine eigene schrift zu gestalten, dann würde ich mich natürlich auch freuen wenn jemand der sie benutzt auch etwas dafür bezahlt. jedenfalls werde ich die von Ihnen verlinkten artikel lesen.


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