How to export a font's source code for the Copyright Office

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KMRC
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2023 5:42 pm

How to export a font's source code for the Copyright Office

Post by KMRC »

How do you export the source code for a FontCreator font?

Using FontCreator Professional Edition Version 14.0.0.2901 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows 10

I am in the process of copyrighting my font, and I received an email from the copyright office (CO). The file I provided with my application is a .pdf file of an .sfd file from FontForge, which documents the font data in text form so you can see the source code. I did this based on the advice of a font designer with a registered copyright for a font.

The CO replied: “You filed an application to register a “computer program” and you submitted roughly 458 pages of identifying material. The material you deposited appears to be XML. To proceed with this claim, you will need to amend your authorship statement.

The Copyright Office will not register XML as a computer program, because it does not constitute source code. Please authorize us to remove the term “computer program” from the application and replace it with the term “XML.”

In addition, please confirm if this XML was hand-coded by a human author or if it was generated by a font program, such as FontLab or Fontographer. If the XML was merely generated by a font program and was not hand coded by a human author, it cannot be registered.”

In the appropriate place on my application, I filled in the correct boxes to indicate that my computer program consists of pre-existing material with standardized source code created by third party software along with my (basis of claim) hand coded portions of the submitted source code. So, I don’t know what they are talking about here. I know other people have copyrighted their font software in this way.

My main issue is how to export the source code of my font, so it doesn’t look like XML. I cannot find anything in my FontCreator documentation or on the Internet about exporting the complete source code of a FontCreator font.

I guess I really have 2 questions.

1] How do you export the complete source code of a font to a file that can be uploaded to the CO and

2] Has anyone applied for a copyright to their font? I understand that a “font” in the sense of a typeface cannot be copyrighted (in the US), but the computer program that renders the font can.

I appreciate any help that you can provide. Thank you!
Erwin Denissen
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Re: How to export a font's source code for the Copyright Office

Post by Erwin Denissen »

It seems the (US) copyright office just won't accept "font code" that originates from a font made by using a font editor, and then exported as readable text like xml.

Here are some links that might help:

https://typedrawers.com/discussion/4747 ... -loopholes

https://www.commarts.com/columns/fonts-and-the-law
Erwin Denissen
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KMRC
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Re: How to export a font's source code for the Copyright Office

Post by KMRC »

Thank you for your reply. Do you know how to export source code from FontCreator?
Erwin Denissen
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Re: How to export a font's source code for the Copyright Office

Post by Erwin Denissen »

From what I understand is they use a definition of source code that is next to impossible to provide, as fonts are deigned in a font editor. That way glyph outlines are indirectly made out of paths, but the Copyright Office demands that you start with some list of coordinates that you then turn into glyph outlines.

So if you draw a sketch on paper along with coordinates, then they will probably accept it as source code.

But designing a font with a font editor and then extracting the coordinates of the glyph outlines will most likely not be accepted.
Erwin Denissen
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KMRC
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Re: How to export a font's source code for the Copyright Office

Post by KMRC »

Thank you.
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