Software piracy – August 16, 1999

London, August 16 1999:

A CD-ROM containing more than 4,000 fonts has been removed from the market, and the remaining stock copies destroyed as a result of legal action taken by Linotype Library in its efforts to put a halt to the increasingly blatant pirating of its world-renowned typeface collection.

Milton Keynes-based distributor CD Wholesale and Linotype Library reached settlement over copyright and trademark claims which Linotype made in respect of the CD-ROM "Universe of Fonts & Icons" for which CD Wholesale was the distributor in the UK. Previously, Stockport-based Internet reseller, CD-ROM Distribution, had similarly agreed to destroy its stocks of the infringing product.

In addition to removing the product from the market, CD Wholesale agreed never to sell or deal in any products which contain Linotype Library’s typefaces and to pay an undisclosed sum by way of damages. Linotype Library’s typefaces are internationally protected by copyright, trademarks, and design registrations. In total, Linotype complained that the product “Universe of Fonts & Icons“ infringed Linotype’s rights in more than 246 sample fonts including famous designs and names such as Univers™, Helvetica™, Palatino™, Optima™, Kabel™, Frutiger™ and Cascade™. Linotype Library also claimed that the very name of the product itself, Universe, infringed Linotype’s rights in the typeface name Univers, one of the most famous and enduring type designs in the world. Accordingly, CD Wholesale has agreed not to sell any product containing type fonts which uses the word "Universe" in its title.

"While I am pleased that we have managed to reach a settlement with CD Wholesale," commented Linotype Library’s General Manager Bruno Steinert from the company’s HQ in Frankfurt, Germany, "this is just the very tip of the iceberg. The fact remains that this product is typical of many hundreds on the market, which blatantly include illegal copies of our typeface designs and names. Selling our typefaces without a licence undermines the outstanding reputation this foundry has built over many decades, takes royalties away from our designers and is even flooding the market with sub-standard versions of our typefaces. We have a very long way to go, but I am determined to use every legal means at our disposal to ensure that publishers and distributors no longer make profits from stealing our products."

Niel Ackermann of solicitors Hewitson Becke + Shaw who act for Linotype Library in pursuing these claims said: "When we initially contact people who make or import products containing infringing typefaces, many of them appear surprised because they have often bought the type components for those products from type foundries in the USA. I would recommend that manufacturers of products containing typefaces not only buy their typeface components from reputable foundries like Linotype but also obtain full warranties from the foundry that the typefaces they do buy do not infringe any rights anywhere in the world."

Linotype GmbH, a subsidiary of the Heidelberg Group, offers one of the largest font libraries of original-cut typefaces using today’s state-of-the-art technology. To date there are more than 4000 PostScript and TrueType fonts available for Mac and PC which can be optimally used by utilising the Linotype FontExplorer, a new patented browser and navigation system. Linotype Library is organising the international trade congress for type, typography, design and media, typo[media] 2000 to be held in the Gutenberg town of Mainz, Germany, from 21st to the 23rd June 2000 with the slogan "Links to Minds".

For further information contact:
In the UK: Clare O’Brien on 44 181 948 4562
In Germany: Bruno Steinert on 49 61 72 484 400


Linotype GmbH – a subsidiary of the Heidelberg Group – offers one of the largest font libraries of original-cut typefaces using today’s state of the art technology.
To date there are more than 4700 PostScript and TrueType fonts available for Mac and PC and the Linotype FontExplorer, on CD or on the Internet, makes them accessible anytime, anywhere.
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (25,9 kb)