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The U.S. doesn't recognize type design as a copyrightable thing, only vectorized fonts, but what does that really mean?

  • Is a bitmap font made in the United States public domain abroad?
  • Are only the contributions from U.S. citizens PD?
  • Can a U.S. citizen use any bitmap font as PD?
  • What if i as a non-U.S. citizen (Czechia) modify a U.S. character?
  • And if a U.S. citizen modifies my bitmap fonts?
  • And if someone breaks the terms of an All Rights Reserved bitmap font in the U.S, is the resulting font illegal in other countries?
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Bitmap fonts are not protected by copyright under US law, which means that you can't sue for copyright infringement in US federal courts, and you can't be sued in the US. It doesn't matter what country the font creator (contributor) is a citizen of, or the infringer, what matters is where the act took place (creating the work, infringing the work). Typefaces are protected in other countries (e.g. Ireland), so you could be sued there. The jurisdictional questions that would need to be addressed are "where was the work created" and "where did the alleged infringement take place". For instance I cannot sue you in Irish court for your infringement in Czechia of my US-made work, but if you infringed my copyright in Ireland, I can sue you in Irish court.

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  • And does a typeface creator from the U.S. receive copyright for it in other jurisdictions? Jun 21 at 13:39

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