French Anti-Piracy Organisation Hadopi Uses Pirated Font In Own Logo

It is quite rare to see topics related to typography make the mainstream news. In a positive sense, Peter Verheul‘s Rijksoverheid suite of custom typefaces for the Dutch National Government were a news item on Dutch national television. Less savoury were the backlash to Ikea’s switch to Verdana, and the indignation of the design community over the use of Papyrus in the James Cameron blockbuster Avatar (more in the next episode of ScreenFonts). These two cases were mostly confined to the “in-crowd”. The most recent case however exploded all over the internet in France this weekend, then made the national news media, and now is crossing the borders to an international audience. Why? Because we can safely argue the Hadopi logo story categorises as an epic FAIL – what internet lingo describes as the often hilarious combination of failure as a result of lack of skill or sound judgement on the one hand, and sweet irony on the other hand. The multiple layers of failure make this story a particularly tragic one.

First we need a little context. Since January 1st the controversial download law Hadopi has become effective in France. The name is short for Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet – roughly translated the High Authority Promoting the Distribution and Protection of Creative Works on the Internet. They follow in the footsteps of Great Britain whose Digital Economy Bill is very similar. Following a spectacular and controversial procedure, and after lengthy debates, the so-called Hadopi law passed last year. In other countries similar legislation is commonly known as the “three strikes” law. It consist of a procedure warning twice people who have illegally downloaded copyright-protected works, before shutting off their internet connection for an indefinite period of time. Not only is the whole household taken offline if any person living there is accused of three acts of infringement, it is also added to a list of addresses to which it is illegal to provide Internet access. To have internet access restored, the “offender” has to allow spyware to be installed on his/her computer, monitoring every single thing that happens on said cpu.

Although the European Parliament and other interest groups call upon fundamental rights to protest against such measures, it seems like a similar legislature may be introduced worldwide as the result of a new intellectual property agreement that is being drawn up behind closed doors. Needless to say Hadopi – the French agency of the same name that’s in charge of the country’s new anti-piracy scheme – isn’t exactly popular. They have come under close scrutiny of their opponents, who are eager to dig up any dirt they can find about them.


The original Hadopi logo presented on Friday, January 8, 2010.
In the early evening of January 9, the day after the Hadopi agency was officially installed, I noticed a tweet by Jean-Baptiste Levée. I wasn’t even aware of the Hadopi at that time, but the text in his tweet made me check his link immediately.

French copyright law Hadopi has an unauthorized use of custom font Bienvenue in its logo http://tweetphoto.com/8293377

J E A N - B A P T I S T E  L E V É E | “I have a Twitter alert set for the word “logo”. I don’t remember which tweet exactly notified me of the presentation of the Hadopi logo. The original announcement on the website of the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication had a link to a PDF announcing the birth of the logo. No need to try it now: since the eruption of the scandal the link on the page has been removed, and when you try to access the URL via Google cache it yields an Error 404 page. When I opened the downloaded document I immediately recognised the typeface in the logo as Bienvenue. I collaborated with Jean-François Porchez for two years until spring 2008, so I know his work pretty well. ; )”

It was Jean-Baptiste’s comment on a blog post on Graphism.fr, the blog by graphic designer Geoffrey Dorne, that confirmed the type in the Hadopi logo was indeed Bienvenue and got the ball rolling.

You may wonder now – where’s the problem? The type in a logo needn’t be custom designed. Of course you can use an existing font, either out of the box, or modified to better fit the intended shape or image. If all this is allowed by the End User Licence Agreement, what’s the big deal?


Bienvenue in use on a France Télécom branded store

Bienvenue in use on a France Télécom advertisement poster
Here’s the big deal. Bienvenue is an exclusive corporate typeface. It was designed in 2000 by Jean François Porchez for France Télécom, the leading French telephone and internet company. The type family was developed in conjunction with Landor Associates, who redesigned the corporate identity. It is intended for use in all France Télécom communication and advertising. The typeface consists of a family of four variations, plus a branding font, a semiserif titling font, and a pictogram font. Because Bienvenue was nominated for Trophée d’Or de la Typographie in 2001, it is quite well known within the design community.

So in short Bienvenue is a proprietary typeface for France Télécom, for exclusive use within the company, and as such was never to be made available for the general public – they have worldwide exclusivity in perpetuity. Yet somehow the typefaces made their way to the font sharers and pirate sites, and have since then become an illegal fan favourite. For example a couple of years ago I personally had a very hard time convincing a French fashion giant that Bienvenue, which had been specified for one of their brands by the agency responsible for their corporate image, could not be used as it infringed the exclusivity of France Télécom.


Bienvenue sample by Jean François Porchez


Hadopi logo simulated with Bienvenue by Jean François Porchez

By the end of the weekend the story was raging like a wildfire, and on Monday it even was a news item on LCI, the news channel of French commercial broadcaster TF1. Of course you have to appreciate the irony – the agency in charge of enforcing France’s new anti-piracy legislation using a pirated proprietary font in its very own logo. Bienvenue isn’t available for licensing, and neither France Télécom nor Jean François Porchez were contacted to request an exceptional permission to use it. It painfully demonstrates the amateurism and general cluelessness of the agency’s communication consultants, and puts Plan Créatif in a very bad spotlight. This Paris-based self-professed “militant agency” designed the logo after winning a competition organised for this purpose by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. To prove that it indeed is Bienvenue, Geoffrey Dorne created at the request of his brother Korben this gif superimposing the Demi weight stretched 110% on the Hadopi logo.


Bienvenue superimposed on the original Hadopi logo
Soon Hadopi and Plan Créatif were scrambling to rectify the snafu. On Monday, January 11, Plan Créatif sent out e-mails admitting the mistake, and claiming that the logo presented just before the weekend was in fact a “sketch”.

Logotype HADOPI: À la suite d’une erreur de manipulation informatique, une esquisse de logotype qui avait été écartée lors des phases traditionnelles de vérification de similitude, a été malencontreusement présentée comme solution graphique définitive. Cette erreur vient d’être réparée.

This roughly translates as follows.

Logotype HADOPI: Due to an erroneous digital manipulation a sketch version of the logo which had been shelved during the traditional verification procedures was unfortunately presented as the final design solution. This error was corrected.

The so-called “final version” of the logo was attached to this e-mail.

Indeed, the logo looks slightly different. The typeface this time is FS Lola, a design by Phil Garnham for FontSmith. The overall dimensions of the logo vary as well: the new version is less wide. Only one element remains unchanged – the full name in red set in Jeremy Tankard‘s popular Bliss.

You’d think the story would end here, but whaddayaguess – it actually gets even worse. The important question now was if the initially presented logo indeed was a case of “erroneous digital manipulation” of files, or if the new logo was a more insidious kind of manipulation, a smoke screen to cover up the foul play. Just like some fellow bloggers, I contacted both FontSmith and Jeremy Tankard. They confirmed that FS Lola and Bliss were rush-ordered on Monday morning, January 11, the very day the new logo was presented.

Either way the logo infringed at least two licenses. Obviously Bliss which was used in both versions had never been licensed by Plan Créatif prior to last Monday, three days after the official presentation. Nor was FS Lola, and if the Bienvenue version was initially intended to be the final logo as we all surmise, then the typeface even isn’t available for licensing at all.

Yet the final blow still was to come. A simple search on the INPI website – the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle or National Institute for Intellectual Property – reveals that the original logo using Bienvenue was registered on November 16, 2009, almost two months ago, and published on Christmas eve. This dispels any doubt that the Bienvenue logo was indeed the intended design, and that the hastily cobbled-together new version presented this Monday is nothing but a subterfuge. We can safely conclude that this is one epic FAIL that will haunt the much-maligned Hadopi for a while.


Jean François Porchez. Photo by Olivier Roux
Although he is not at liberty to reveal any details yet, Jean François Porchez commented that KGA avocats – his lawyers in charge of this case – have initiated the procedure to contact all parties concerned with the aim to resolve this problem as fast as possible. Pending the resolution of the problem additional information will be divulged in due time. Understandably the Alliance française des designers (French Alliance of Designers) follows this case from close-by and supports the action by Porchez Typofonderie.

What does this convoluted story teach us? Porchez briefly commented in the news item on LCI mentioned above.

J E A N  F R A N Ç O I S  P O  R C H E Z | “What we have here is a classic example, where the authority which is supposed to protect artists pirates my work. It makes me smile, but at the same time we need to find the best possible solution for this problem.”

The main lesson to be learned is that everyone is personally responsible for each and every font stored on his/her hard drive. Every person must be aware where those fonts come from, and be very cautious of freeware and shareware. Some of it is fine, but the vast majority is of dubious quality. And unless it is acquired from reputable websites, the origin of the good fonts can be very shady, if not to say illegal, as this case clearly illustrates.
The story on BoingBoing
Italian translation / Belorussian translation of this article.

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67 Comments:

  1. quite simply… LOL

    Posted by Youssef Sarhan on Jan. 14, 2010
  2. Just to clarify — I redid quite a bit of research for this article – like checking with FontSmith and Jeremy Tankard – not because I like double work, but because most of the blog posts regarding this story had factual errors in them.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 14, 2010
  3. And it really looks like the story is going global. There are now articles and blog posts in a multitude of languages (Spanish, German, Dutch, etc.)

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 14, 2010
  4. That’s incredible. The rush order of Lola and Bliss is so damning! Great research on this story.

    Posted by Rob Cockerham on Jan. 14, 2010
  5. I covered the 2005 Quark logo trademark infringement debacle for QuarkVSInDesign.com and other media. This, however, blows that scandal out of the water.

    Well researched article, Yves. The only other thing I would like to have seen was a response from Hadopi directly.

    Posted by Pariah Burke on Jan. 14, 2010
  6. Thanks for this well-researched post. I only glanced at the French news headlines and skimmed one short blog post in French, and I’m not yet familiar with Hadopi, so I appreciate this lengthy report that gives us the full context of this issue.

    Posted by Jongseong Park on Jan. 14, 2010
  7. The only other thing I would like to have seen was a response from Hadopi directly.

    Don’t we all. : )

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 14, 2010
  8. I understand how you can think this as a violation, but are you sure it is? I mean legally? If it’s just the logo – they’re allowed to be ‘inspired’ – even redraw samples as long as they change the tinyest bit, right?

    We’re talking pretty generic shapes here, and they even added those ugly tails to your sans-serif, so basically – it’s something different in my opinion. And there’s no guarantee that they downloaded the font – they could use a sample found elsewhere.

    So yes, they ripped off your font, but I’m not sure they broke the law…

    Posted by Kip on Jan. 14, 2010
  9. The font was never publicly released so sure it’s illegal. The only way they could have obtained it is through piracy.

    I hope this gets taken to court, and their bigotry can be exposed for all. Cutting off peoples Internet is barbaric.

    Posted by Hawken king on Jan. 14, 2010
  10. If it’s just the logo – they’re allowed to be ‘inspired’ – even redraw samples as long as they change the tiniest bit, right?

    Hehe, I’d like to see the ad men explain that to the U2 lawyers: “But it’s just the music for a commercial – we’re allowed to be ‘inspired’ – even replay the song as long as we change a single note, right?”
     

    We’re talking pretty generic shapes here, and they even added those ugly tails to your sans-serif, so basically – it’s something different in my opinion.

    I think a lot of people beg to differ. And if the shapes are indeed pretty generic, why didn’t they simply use Arial and save themselves a whole heap of trouble?
     

    And there’s no guarantee that they downloaded the font – they could use a sample found elsewhere.

    In Europe type designs are registered as artistic works, not just pieces of software. Using a sample found elsewhere doesn’t change a thing, as they are using a protected design.
     

    So yes, they ripped off your font (…)

    No, they didn’t rip off our font; they ripped off the corporate face of France Télécom. It doesn’t say in the article I am in any way related to this typeface.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  11. thanks for this Yves. top work.

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Jan. 15, 2010
  12. … this is why I am telling all customers not to use any typeface without a license; thanks for your post.

    Posted by Ole Schaefer on Jan. 15, 2010
  13. Of course, what’s the harm in using licensed fonts for free? They’re kinda like MP3s in that regard.

    Posted by commenter on Jan. 15, 2010
  14. “[...]each and every font stored on his/her cpu” hihi

    Posted by Ed Dillinger on Jan. 15, 2010
  15. Great summary indeed, Yves. And I didn’t know about the final chapter yet :-) Thanks!

    Posted by Jan Middendorp on Jan. 15, 2010
  16. Yves, I would love to translate and publish your post in italian… may I?
    raffaella

    Posted by raffaella isidori on Jan. 15, 2010
  17. Yes of course, Rafaella, be my guest. Just don’t forget to link back to here and credit me as the author of the original article.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  18. Of course, what’s the harm in using licensed fonts for free? They’re kinda like MP3s in that regard.

    Well, you might start by wondering who exactly designed and engineered those fonts you like so much, and what kind of time, skill, and dedication went into that. The next step would be to look at your own monthly expenses: mortgage, food, technology, mobility, entertainment, recreational drugs, whatever you need to get through the month. Finally, imagine what it would be like if your income was cut down to a fraction of what it is now, because people think there’s no harm in using the stuff you make for a living for free. Are you still feeling comfortable? :)
     
    BTW I think it’s really cute you are the only one in this thread commenting anonymously. :P

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  19. It´s a great story and confirms that it is the responsibility of each user of fonts to read the EULA and act.
    BoingBoing reported but failed to mention that they had some recent font problems too. They used a freefont for their CSS fontface application. The font however was incorrectly inplemented and the font itself had just 107 characters in the characterset plus an incorrect encoding! Lack of knowledge from experienced designers.

    Posted by Henk Gianotten on Jan. 15, 2010
  20. What a story! Plus, pirating one of their fellow citizen. Pas de classe!

    Posted by Ben P on Jan. 15, 2010
  21. Of course, what’s the harm in using licensed fonts for free? They’re kinda like MP3s in that regard.

    Yves, I suspect the anonymous ‘commentator’ was being ironic…

    Posted by Michael on Jan. 15, 2010
  22. Wanna take another laugh at the French? Check this one out: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_google_tax_hiding_the_real_threats_to_french_d.php

    Posted by Greg on Jan. 15, 2010
  23. I was chatting with Jean François Porchez just now. Although he is not at liberty to reveal any details yet, Porchez commented that KGA avocats – his lawyers in charge of this case – have initiated the procedure to contact all parties concerned with the aim to resolve this problem as fast as possible. Pending the resolution of the problem additional information will be divulged in due time. Understandably the Alliance française des designers (French Alliance of Designers) follows this case from close-by and supports the action by Porchez Typofonderie.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  24. Yves, I suspect the anonymous ‘commentator’ was being ironic…

    Argh! I hate it when that happens. Emoticons do help in these kind of situations. :/

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  25. Merde! Quel horreur! ;-)

    Posted by John S. Hall on Jan. 15, 2010
  26. this story reminded me once more to be very careful with all the typefaces I use for public design. a good article thanks. and epic FAIL for anti-piracy pirates indeed ^_^

    Posted by d4rkie on Jan. 15, 2010
  27. Yves,
    i could be wrong, but i think Kip was talking about matters of legality when he talked about redrawing fonts in the first paragraph, as in, completely unrelated to whether one thinks it’s wrong or not.
    as far as i know there indeed were times in places where changing tiny bits of fonts and republishing them was not out of line with local law. well, a long time ago probably. i can’t actually give examples, but it’s stuck in my head for some reason.
    of course, one’d think that most countries don’t allow that kind of stuff anymore.

    Posted by morel on Jan. 15, 2010
  28. …with the aim to resolve this problem as fast as possible…

    Why the rush? Or was that just a figure of speech? ;)

    Posted by Manuel Martensen on Jan. 15, 2010
  29. That’s quite possible, but even when certain dubious practices are strictly speaking not illegal I never let legislation get in the way of common sense and my sense of justice. ;)

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  30. heh, yeah, of course. i guess that’s how the law progresses, too.

    Posted by morel on Jan. 15, 2010
  31. Fascinating story and epic FAIL. To think, little ol’ me puts down my money for font licenses and great big government agencies resort to piracy. Hmmmm…

    Posted by Catherine Azzarello on Jan. 15, 2010
  32. You see how we are good in France :-P All this Hadopi story is a big FAIL, even the process of creation was epic: the first version of the law was censored by the Conseil Constitutionnel (Fundamental Law Council) for violation of Human Rights, nice…
    More in the topic of your post: I am not a logo specialist, but when I first saw the HADOPI logo, it reminds me another logo, still from France Telecom : http://twitpic.com/xs9ue
    Perhaps a source of inspiration?

    Posted by Aranno on Jan. 15, 2010
  33. Great story. At the same time, frightening. Since some of us stack up on a lot of typefaces, not sure later whether this came along with the purchased software or was it off a friend’s 8gb flash drive. Yves, don’t you think it would be great to list popular typefaces that are in the Copyright-free zone? Besides Arial, of course. :) It would also be nice if there is a mention when such an open-to-use typeface has served as an inspiration and modified by a type foundry. H&J’s Didot, for instance. Possible?

    Posted by k on Jan. 15, 2010
  34. Yves, don’t you think it would be great to list popular typefaces that are in the Copyright-free zone?

    You don’t really need me for that. There’s more than enough resources out there, and I am not familiar at all with the world of free- and shareware fonts. :)

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 15, 2010
  35. Thanks for the best report yet on this funny story, Yves!

    Posted by Laurence Penney on Jan. 15, 2010
  36. First of all, great article. I’d like to make a parallel between fonts and songs, inspired by that anonymous commenter.

    Someone can become a fan of a band through a pirated mp3, as design students can became a fan of typographers through pirated fonts. Then, the band get people paying to see the band, and foundries get people who appreciate fonts enough to pay for them. I think both foundries and bands should (and they do) tolerate this.

    But in this case, it’s like there’s a unlicenced Lennon song in a tv ad. Yoko would be right in claiming her part, because they’re making a profit, like this guys, who were making a profit using someone’s work.

    Anyway, this only makes these organizations (like RIAA) even more pathetic.

    Posted by Matias on Jan. 16, 2010
  37. It is a great story, and thanks for the research. It must be especially amusing to hardworking typeface designers, none of whom have pirated music on their own home computers.

    Posted by Brad Emmons on Jan. 17, 2010
  38. So has HADOPI had their internet cut off yet? Or is it just their first warning?

    Posted by ZOG on Jan. 18, 2010
  39. Love the detective work you did on this, noting that Bliss was rush-ordered is the cherry on top. I had very little to go on when I posted on Jan 13, so I just alerted people to the story happening, have no updated to include links here for more info.

    Just so you know, you’ve been metafiltered as well, and people are quite angry at your last paragraph, see : http://www.metafilter.com/88388/antipiracy-font-piracy-fail

    Posted by Dabitch on Jan. 19, 2010
  40. (cont) The last paragraph that angers people is;

    “The main lesson to be learned is that everyone is personally responsible for each and every font stored on his/her cpu. Every person must be aware where those fonts come from, and be very cautious of freeware and shareware.”

    They probably never heard of a CPU-license, so they are not designers, as they rant on about the CPU being a part of the computer for a bit. Then they feel as consumers (not designers) they can’t possibly be responsible for every font they have on their computer. But they aren’t in the business of selling work based on the fonts they use.

    Posted by Dabitch on Jan. 19, 2010
  41. classic case who will watch the watchmen.

    Posted by rakesh on Jan. 19, 2010
  42. @Matias –

    It’s a good line of reasoning, and it actually makes more sense with typefaces. You can pirate music and never redistribute, but with fonts you ultimately have to reuse them…playing around with personal projects wouldn’t cost the people who make fonts all that much.

    HOWEVER, that doesn’t change the fact that you (not just you, I know) can’t dictate to artists and typographers how they should market their products. If people want to do that, then they can allow it in their licenses. Otherwise, we all would do well to respect the rules that are given to us and the rights that are inherent to the copyright holders.

    Posted by Brendan on Jan. 19, 2010
  43. So would this count as Hadopi’s “first strike”? Keep an eye on ACTA that wants to make “three strikes” legislation more pervasive worldwide.

    Posted by alex_mayorga on Jan. 19, 2010
  44. Just so you know, you’ve been metafiltered as well, and people are quite angry at your last paragraph (…)

    What a surprise. It’s not like I am going to lose sleep over this. :D I’m actually quite happy some people defended the position of type designers. And I have the feeling many of those who are angry think I took the stance of Hadopi, which couldn’t be further removed from the truth. I think the Hadopi legislation is revolting, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that type designers are entitled to have a decent income.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 19, 2010
  45. “I think the Hadopi legislation is revolting”
    Is this “howling with the pack”, Yves ?
    What is so “revolting” about this law ?

    Posted by Rudy on Jan. 20, 2010
  46. Fair enough, “revolting” may be a bit strong, but the end does not justify the means. There are other, more level-headed ways than cutting off the internet connection of an entire household and installing friggin’ spyware to enforce copyright and protect intellectual property. These are draconian Big Brother-type measures worthy of a totalitarian state. I think it is telling that the bill was originally rejected by the French National Assembly, that after it eventually passed the Constitutional Council of France still struck down an important portion of HADOPI, and that as I mentioned above “the European Parliament and other interest groups call upon fundamental rights to protest against such measures”.
     
    Also it is unbefitting a constitutional democracy that recourse to a judicial court is not possible for the first two warnings, and cutting off the internet connection is not stoppable by judicial recourse. Furthermore the suspect being requested to bring the charge of the proof constitutes a violation of the presumption of innocence, which is a cornerstone of our judicial system. There’s a whole mess of problems with this law.
     
    Again, I would love there to be a sound system that would prevent so many of my type designer and musician friends to be deprived of a – sometimes considerable – part of their income. But not like this.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 20, 2010
  47. BTW In the MetaFilter thread my credibility has been questioned due to my use of the term “cpu” with regards to font licensing. Let me quote Joe Clark’s comment in said thread:
     

    Since nobody here seems to have actual experience in the industry, “CPU” is the term widely used as a unit of measurement in typeface licensing. If you’re a large corporation, you could buy, say, a 5,000-seat or a 1,200-CPU licence for a typeface. (You typically also license a certain number of printers.)

    So strictly speaking it is incorrect, but you have to understand its use in the context of the article. I never claimed to be a computer expert; I simply know a little about typography and digital fonts.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 20, 2010
  48. “the end does NOT justify the means” is again a very populist expression. In many cases “the end does justify the means in others it doesn’t”.
    I also love the “draconian Big Brother type measures worthy of a totalitarian state” … that is almost poetry my dear.
    BUT what is really Draconian in France (and not only in France) is the illegal usage of almost anything existing as bits and bytes and protected by copyrights, trademarks, patents and so on. In the past there have been several attempts to convince users not to do so (ad campaigns, TV commercials, collaterals and so on) but nothing helped. I guess that at a certain point it all stops and severe measurements should be taken to stop this.
    It’s like the “zero” tolerance measurements taken in other cases: alcohol, drugs, crime, ecological abuse, protection of animals … they all have been protested and rejected by the masses in the name of freedom of speech, violation of the presumption of innocence, the right to privacy and so on.
    Fact is that for instance the decline in the elephant population is FAR less by the “draconian” law of forbidding all trade in ivory.
    Of course there are loopholes in those laws but I guess that those will be solved as time passes.
    Last: “there are other, more level-headed ways than cutting off the internet connection of an entire household and installing friggin’ spyware to enforce copyright and protect intellectual property” … love this … just go ahead and suggest anything better … that helps.

    Posted by Rudy on Jan. 20, 2010
  49. and what do you think: should someone cut of the internet connection of “Plan Créatif” (the, to me, only violator) or should Porchez, Jeremy Tankard, FontSmith and many others spend loads of money on lawyers. Or getting the BSA involved and shut down Plan Créatif’s business ?

    Posted by Rudy on Jan. 20, 2010
  50. Yes, everyone knows that the current government in France are a bunch of whimps. Cutting off the internet connection? Burn them at the stake I say! They’ll stop downloading soon enough. Who cares if they are actually guilty or not, at least all the others will be scared shitless. It worked for hunting witches. *sigh*

    Posted by peterv on Jan. 21, 2010
  51. Great research, Yves!

    I wonder if they knew that Bienvenue was the corporate typeface of France Telecom, be it commissioned work or not, or if the design studio just got the font from somebody else and used it for the logotype (which doesn’t say they are less guilty about this).

    Posted by Crystian Cruz on Jan. 27, 2010
  52. That’s the sad thing about these stories – it’s mostly due to ignorance. People just stuff any font they can find on their hard drive and use whatever in their designs. Four years ago I investigated a case of a design bureau using the font “Opel Sans” to design a logo. I mean, the name didn’t even make them stop and think: “Hmmm, why is this font called Opel Sans? Could there be any connection with the car manufacturer?” :^)

    I have another, equally tragic case I am going to write about in a bit, and you simply won’t believe what happened to that poor designer. Like I said, really sad stories. People should be more careful, and not hide behind the fact that “they didn’t know”. They’re supposed to be professionals!

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jan. 27, 2010
  53. Yes, “I didn’t know” is not accepted as an excuse for any other kind of crime.

    Posted by Jay Rutherford on Jan. 29, 2010
  54. hihihihihihih hahhahahaahahaha
    i can’t stand it anymore it’s just too funny for me…
    maybe this hadopi logo was made by an intern which made a really good and fine typographic joke? ;-)
     
    In France we have a really well-known sentence who says:
    “do what i say not what i do”
    (“Faites ce que je dis, pas ce que je fais”)
    I think this hadopi joke is the perfect illustration!
     
    if you want to have more fun with french politics have a look on the design of Segolene Royal website (politician from socialist party – left)
    price: 41860 euros
    hihihihihhahahaha…
     
    VIVE LA FRANCE
    i am happy to live somewhere else…

    Posted by anne on Jan. 31, 2010
  55. Very nice and a great example of how in-depth research adds value to readers. I guess otherwise I would have totally missed that story as I don’t speak French.

    Posted by Christian on Feb. 2, 2010
  56. I have a friend who works for a start-up that did something similar. They liked a font they found on a store online, and used the store’s “Generate Sample Text” feature to create the base text for their logo.
    Luckily, they’re small enough to be able to fly under the radar, but it is in line with this “fonts are free, right?” misconception.

    Posted by andrew on Feb. 22, 2010
  57. Not to chime in with all this ridiculing the Hadopi, but technically they would have to police themselves. It is sad what kind of lobbying passes for law these days, so in the (lose) words of Herbert Grönemeyer: “Laugh if you can’t manage to cry”. In Germany we were facing a similar threat last year when what would have become a censorship mechanism akin to those used in Australia and Scandinavia immediately garnered a lot of interest from the media industry. Luckily, the law got scrapped – for now.
     
    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m training to become a designer myself and I would be sad if somebody ripped me off by stealing my work. But in contrast to the medieval music and movie industry, I care about my customers and if they can’t afford my work, I will try and find a way we can both be happy. I’m not lobbying to have my competition shut down and suing my customers because they can’t afford what I’m asking or don’t like how I’m making it available to them.
     
    I’m sure most artists are saddened by how the whole situation worked out, too. Thank god we have the Creative Commons license that allows us to bypass these kinds of bad legislation.

    Posted by Berthold on Feb. 25, 2010
  58. Posted by Aaron on Mar. 4, 2010
  59. http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096–geist-record-industry-faces-liability-over-infringement

    These organizations aren’t interested in protecting the artists, they’re interested in exploitation of artists, plain and simple.

    Posted by Aaron on Mar. 4, 2010
  60. In fact, I have seen along the years, a few example of this “inconscient” abuse (custom typefaces used for applications), but the truth resides in a lack of culture: as long as the average person thinks digital products (of any nature) are “free”, we’ll have this phenomenon.

    Posted by Claudio Piccinini on Mar. 14, 2010
  61. i am just shocked to read all these. you really putted some thing in depth’s vision other then external eye.

    Posted by Height Weight Chart @ HWC on May. 28, 2010
  62. For me, this is pretty clear.

    The organizations first mistake was opening up the design and picking one. They should have found 5-10 highly qualified firms (old, middle age, and young mixture) and had them come in to talk about how they work. Show some past work they did. This is called a meet and greet. Then pick one whose design process they liked (regardless of the particular project). Give them what they need to design then write up a contract. In the contract it would specify that the firm MUST use only typefaces they have a license for and must present that license to the client on completion.

    But they did none of this.

    So they picked a “winner” and that winner did some dumb stuff and the client did not bother to ask the right questions.

    Then, when BOTH got caught, to save face (very French thing to do) they made up nonsense about it being a sketch. But other than THAT stupid thing, they did do the right thing once they got caught – I think more for being dumb and doing no follow up and no contract to prevent this, than for piracy; They went out and bought the right typefaces.

    What they should have done is apologized profusely, possibly FIRED the design firm (if they violated any contracts, that would be breach of contract in the U.S. and they could sue for any money paid to the firm – if there was a contract), hired a new firm, and then reprimanded or fired the staff or director who hired and managed the design firm that did the work.

    But, c’est la vie!

    Posted by J on Jun. 30, 2010
  63. I just found your article today by sheer chance. International talk like a pirate day and dodgy fonts is an odd connection but one that brought me here.

    Excellent research and a well written article. I like the irony that completely exclusive fonts were used and the rush job of buying up 2 other font types on the morning of the press release by an organisation that is meant to monitor piracy shows how endemic piracy is at every level.

    A statement accepting being duped would have been very adult of Hadopi. Sadly they chose to look like fools and have made the case for using creations without permission of their authors more likely now.

    Funny is the best way to describe it.

    Posted by Scott on Sep. 19, 2010
  64. A statement accepting being duped would have been very adult of Hadopi. Sadly they chose to look like fools and have made the case for using creations without permission of their authors more likely now.

    Posted by blue ray burners for pc on Jan. 25, 2011
  65. What they should have done is apologized profusely, possibly FIRED the design firm (if they violated any contracts, that would be breach of contract in the U.S. and they could sue for any money paid to the firm – if there was a contract), hired a new firm, and then reprimanded or fired the staff or director who hired and managed the design firm that did the work.

    Posted by blue ray burners for pc on Jan. 25, 2011
  66. Great organization. I’m surprised that the anti-piracy laws aren’t more widespread.

    Posted by Fair Trade Gifts on Apr. 27, 2011
  67. I can’t handle the irony. I love this sort of stuff. Excellent post, will subscribe for more!

    Posted by Haley on Apr. 30, 2011

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