Portable Executable File Format

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bwyarger
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Portable Executable File Format

Post by bwyarger » Mon May 13, 2013 3:49 pm

I plan to sell my fonts and I am looking for a way to protect them from piracy. One digital rights management company says their software will do it if the fonts in a portable executable file format. Is there a way to convert TTF fonts from FontCreator 6.5 to portable executables?

Are there any other ways to protect TTF fonts from unauthorized copying and installation on multiple machines?

Dick Pape
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Re: Portable Executable File Format

Post by Dick Pape » Mon May 13, 2013 5:39 pm

Every font designer/foundry has been searching for this for a long time, so my understanding is "Can't be Done".

Chuck Davis from Letterhead Fonts has tried many schemes over the years and the best he has come up with is "Harassment". Send letters, siccing lawyers on offending users, distribute broken versions, offer demo or sample free fonts (which I think should work to a degree), include hidden identifiers in glyphs or in code, requiring registration (purchase) before sending font. Last I heard professional designers told him to soften his stance or they'd stop using LHF.

Until the major software companies include digital rights checking (at least Microsoft, Adobe,) there is little you can do I'm afraid.

There are so many good free fonts (Google themselves) it's a tough business.

Good luck.

bwyarger
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Re: Portable Executable File Format

Post by bwyarger » Mon May 13, 2013 7:15 pm

I realize there is little to nothing that can be done to stop the professional hacker, but in my case I am mainly worried about casual piracy by end users without the knowledge and experience to dig into the code. SafeNet, Inc. says their "Envelope" will do the job if I can get the fonts in to a portable executable file format, but I don't know what that means other than its another file format for various types of software, including fonts from what I have read.

After knowing that an individual or company is pirating software including fonts, I can see the way to enforce the licensing agreements, but how do I know that they bought one copy and installed 17 times?

The fonts are part of a bigger package, but they are the part most likely to be pirated by the end users to multiple machines since the rest is an AutoCAD routine that only needs to run once, but the users need the fonts just to view the document correctly. I have found DRM software for the rest of it, but not the fonts unless I can get the into portable executable file format.

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Portable Executable File Format

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon May 13, 2013 7:38 pm

Any archiving utility, such as 7-Zip will compress the fonts into a self-extracting archive format, and a password can be added to encrypt the archive if necessary. However, once the fonts are extracted, which they will need to be to install them, I don't know how DRM can protect them.

You should ask the DRM company about it — there's nothing FontCreator can do to encrypt the fonts though you can edit the licensing rights to stop them being embedded in documents.

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Alfred
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Re: Portable Executable File Format

Post by Alfred » Mon May 13, 2013 8:28 pm

Dick Pape wrote:include hidden identifiers
Or not so hidden! Earlier today I was looking for Caflisch Script. All the indications were that it was a commercial script from Adobe, but I found it listed as a free font on Font-Zone ("Font Name: Caflisch Script Web Regular, Author: Unknown"). I duly downloaded it and opened it in FC7, where I saw the following on the Legal tab of the Font Properties dialog:

Vendor ID: ADBE
Vendor: Adobe Systems, Incorporated
Designer: Robert Slimbach

So much for "free" and "author unknown"! :roll:
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Re: Portable Executable File Format

Post by pwillard » Wed May 15, 2013 8:39 pm

HA! No kidding... and... no surprise.
Pete

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