I was passed a link to your website by a colleague - and was a little bit
disturbed by the comments you have made about me. (Regarding a 'Sprint Software'
fonts cd released in 1994/95).
Firstly however - I should mention that this is the first time I have ever
any mention of this matter (publishing of copyrighted fonts) - and comes
complete surprise to me. If what you allege is true - at this point (some
years later) - I can only offer my apologies to anyone who had been
inadvertently affected by this - and assure that there was no intention
benefit) whatsoever to have done this. If anyone had of actually contacted
the time about this - I am sure we could have sorted it and made any amendments
or compensation necessary.
Personally, I have not had any association with the company 'Sprint Software'
for some time now (since 1996) - and as far as I know - the product in question
has not been available for sale to the public for almost this long as well
would probably not function correctly using anything newer then the old
of Windows95 - unless they went to additional lengths using specialist software
to extract them as you have done). I of course can't answer for anything
may or may not have taken place after the time I was there (and sold my
ownership at this point).
The products in question were created by downloading/collating available
from various websites / online archives - which we believed to be a reputable
source for 'shareware' and 'freeware' products. (these well known sites
'simtel' had a lot of notices up about this - and appeared to also actively
monitor the site for illegitimate files). We also sourced other shareware
(which had similar 'reputable' claims) - as well as receiving a lot of products
directly from the authors themselves (who used our cd's as a way of distributing
their products to the wider public).
With these 'shareware' cd's - we didn't at any time attempt to offer any
'exclusive' products - or anything different to what we thought was already
publicly available online.
To give you an idea of what we were actually about - our main selling points
were instead :
(for the true 'context' of these - please rewind back to 1995 where internet
not yet reached the mainstream and general computer knowledge was mostly
realm of 'experts') :
- Providing a very
Easy to Use Graphical Interface that did everything
they needed - and didn't require the user to know how to do things like
or know how to copy files and install fonts. Our competitor's products did
have this 'ease of use' and ours were in some cases the only way users could
access such software (as they had to be an expert to use the others - which
generally supplied without any frontend).
- Eliminating the
need for someone to have to find and download the
content they wanted. (and in most cases - people didn't have internet access
or if they did - had a very slow connection and paid huge fees for the timed
- Providing the product
at a very cheap price (ie I think this CD was
sold for something like AUD$10 - which is about US$7)...
Our products in most cases provided a win-win scenario for both the developers
and the public. The developers were given a vehicle to reach a wide audience
that would never have otherwise tried their products (which in turn increased
sales of their full products) - and the public were able to access and evaluate
these products in a much cheaper and easier way.
I can appreciate however that with the fonts cd the concept of shareware
bit different (as the font creators had not bundled in readme files or anything
we could visibly/knowingly access to determine their origin). None of us
fontographers - or graphic designers - so if the font had a particular name
some embedded copyright or similarities to another font - we would not have
known about it. (and we didn't own or use any specific font tools/converters
that could have told us about any potential breaches of copyright). Like
out other products - we assumed our sources had not provided copyrighted
material (and went by this basis).
When we put together these cd's - it normally involved one of the guy's
through several thousand files in a short space of time (ie they may have
2 days putting the product together). If we had to spend anymore time then
(ie doing some of things you suggested - like reverse engineering fonts
creating them from commercial products using font converters) - we wouldn't
released the product. (as the amount we made off them was so little - it
wouldn't have even been a viable proposition to spend all that extra effort
making 'forgeries'). Our effort instead went into the User Interface and
everything accessible to the end user.
As we didn't promote the individual inclusions on the cd (unless it was
really well known game) - it didn't really matter to us at the end of the
whether we had say 2000 fonts or 3000 fonts available (and would have happily
omitted any suspect fonts without there being any effect on the product's
sales). We were selling the user experience (the ability to preview fonts
install them at a click of a button) - and an alternative to spending a
money downloading files - not the actual fonts themselves.
I have no doubt that while this cd may have been bought by some graphics
(who would have also most likely already owned products from Adobe, Corel
and already had copyrights to use most of it anyhow) - most of the customers
were mum's and dad's or school kids who might have used them for a school
project or Christmas (which is hardly a threat to the copyright owners market
who again would probably already have them as a customer) and would have
used an alternative font.
I will admit that we unfortunately had a couple of occasions were developers
would inform us we had breached some redistribution agreement terms of theirs
(for example - the shareware developer might have assigned 'exclusive' rights
for cd only distribution to another company after we obtained the file).
these occasions - and when we were actually made aware of it - each time
were made with the developer (which sometimes included removing the product
question and/or paying some small compensation or even better helping them
promote their product) - and not once was anything taken to court. (or not
settled to their satisfaction).
I am happy to answer any questions that you may have - or clarifications
you require on the above.
You are also more then welcome to quote this email (along with your original
material) - so readers can get a more 'complete' picture on this issue.
I also do hope you will at least contact me in future if you feel the need
publish anything about me (and what to check it for 'fact' first).