Another non-fix

Continuing the theme of the opportunity cost and wasted passion in the bitcoin realm.

Here’s another misplaced non-solution. NFType proposes using NFTs to clean up the messy copyright situation of digital fonts.   Or at least I think that’s what they’re proposing. The website and the Twitter version are totally uninformative and incomprehensible.

Font licensing is definitely a mess. I’ve been using and making 3d versions of fonts as part of my 3d animations, for courseware and for fun. When you read the license on a font from an honest site, it basically says you can’t do anything at all with it. You must purchase the license, which often costs thousands of dollars.

At first I obeyed the rules strictly, making my own fonts from scratch. I can do the task well enough after considerable experience in calligraphy and hot-lead typesetting. Back in 1995 I made a fresh and rather pretty IPA font for the IPA practice system. More recently I made 3d Zodiac symbols for the Astrometeorology set.

I gave up on scratch-building for ordinary letters, because it’s clear that nobody cares enough about ‘incidental’ uses of letters to sue.

When you can’t determine the real rules in advance, there aren’t any rules. You just have to guess that a font from Monotype, the Big Dog in the field, will get you sued for sure, while anything else is probably safe as long as you don’t make too much money.

In other words, this is a situation that won’t be fixed by “laws”, but really could use a technical fix.

NFT is not the fix. Seeing the role of technical fix occupied and dirtied up by NFT will cause other potential fixers to stay away.

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