August 23rd, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
World of Warcraft publisher Blizzard Entertainment has been sued by Founder Electronics Co. Ltd., a Beijing company. Founder alleges the fonts used in Blizzard’s Chinese version of World of Warcraft infringe Founder’s copyright. Beijing High People’s Court recently accepted the suit. I have no idea how Chinese copyright law works (though based what I saw in Macau last year when was there taking depositions, it basically doesn’t) and I don’t know the facts here, but I’ll keep watching this to see how it plays out.
For what it’s worth, in the U.S., you can’t copyright a typeface, though you can copyright the code used to draw the typeface on a screen. In other words, if you figure out a way to make your typeface look exactly like someone else’s on your own, you’re fine. If you use someone else’s code (e.g. font) without licensing it, however, you may be liable for infringement.
Any Chinese copyright law experts out there want to weigh in?
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