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Harry Potter and The Forbidden Typeface

7/8/2011 4:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Evil forces are at work at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida ... all because the gift shop is selling merchandise which contains a STOLEN FONT ... this according to a new lawsuit.


The company behind the lawsuit is P22 Type Foundry -- which claims they own the copyright to the Cezanne Regular font (seen above) ... which, apparently, is a very wizardy-looking typeface.

According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in NY, P22 claims the font was splashed all over Potter t-shirts, hats, pins bags and more -- but no one associated with the merchandise ever got permission to use the font for commercial purposes.

Now, P22 is going after NBCUniversal -- the company that owns the theme park --as well as the merchandise manufacturers ... demanding at least $1.5 MILLION in damages. 

We were unable to get a comment from NBCUniversal.



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OK, Mulder, I will wait for the truth. I know it's out there.

1114 days ago


NBC could also claim I was the designer, since I have worked for Uni in the past, and do have a license for that font. By the way the font's called Cezanne because it's based on the famous painter's handwriting. I wonder if Cezanne's estate will see some of the money?

1114 days ago


@Mulder Slow your own roll (and read up). Rhubino wasn't talking about the claims made in the case when he referenced "downloading any pirated fonts." He was making reference to an assertion that "Superman" had incorrectly made.

I don't blame (almost) everyone here for their ignorance, but my mind has honestly been blown by how little you people know about copyright protection of original works as it relates to typography and design as a whole.

1114 days ago


@viewer They could make that claim. But they'd be laughed out of the courtroom. Cezanne's estate won't have a legitimate claim since his works would now be in the public domain. Additionally, as you stated the font is "based on" Cezanne's handwriting and thus would be covered under Fair Use.

1114 days ago


Live by the copyright troll, die by the copyright troll. It's always nice to see the studios who are so dedicated to making sure they punish anyone who ever shares a song, loans a friend a DVD or (back in t he 80s) used a VCR to record a TV show off of TV. Copyright law is being used to stifle creativity, maintain a monopoly on entertainment distribution and try to destroy new technologies before people realize just how bad they are being ripped off, both the consumers and the artists who create the works.

1114 days ago


Stolen font??? I thought fonts were FREEEEE!!! Stupid....

1114 days ago


I own the copyright to the whogivesa**** font.

1114 days ago


Understood Mulder. I will wait for the truth, I know it's out there.

1114 days ago


Uh-oh! I used that font in a tattoo - do you suppose they'll want it removed? :P

1114 days ago


Oops. I thought my post was deleted, and re-posted, only to have a bunch more come up. Thanks Typophile (yes, my pirated comment was in repsonse to Superman).

1114 days ago


I love how people are completely ignorant of copyright laws. Fonts are protected works; people spend months, even years working on a single font. Just because "they're just words" to your ignorant brain doesn't mean that a lot of work hasn't gone into them—working on the shape of the letters, the spacing, and optimizing for readability, among many other things. Fonts become a part of corporate identities, logos, products. They are VERY important. Just think of the "Coca-Cola" logo—that script typeface, instantly recognizable. You don't think Coke would go after someone if they used their typeface? Get real.

1114 days ago


1. Notice to user. You (End User) have not purchased the ownership rights to this font, but rather a license to use this font on a limited basis. Purchasing a license for any P22 font or font distributed by P22 (International House of Fonts, Sherwood Collection and other) via download, or e-mail, constitutes an agreement between P22 type foundry, Inc (“P22”) and the end user of the enclosed typefaces (“software”) that the terms and conditions of this contract will be followed. If the fonts are purchased in hard copy format (CD-ROM or floppy disk), removing the media from its protective sleeve (paper pouch, DVD cases, or other) in which the media is contained constitutes the same agreement. If you do not agree with the terms of this agreement return the complete package with the CD or floppy disk sleeve unopened to the place of purchase. If downloaded or received by e-mail, all files must be deleted. A signed affidavit may be required to receive a refund.

1114 days ago

Bubbles The Chimp    

Now that I have looked at P22 Type Foundry's terms and licenses, I do not see why anyone would use their typefaces for anything. Their category of licenses is ridiculous but they might have a case if the studios did not license a 'Large Scale Campaign' agreement with P22 under their terms.

This one of those typeface companies that should be AVOIDED if you are a graphic designer. They are just one big license trap.

1114 days ago


Wow, type foundaries have gotten stupid, they are licensing like photographers. I hope this foundary sees a quick death. Boo HISS!

1114 days ago


I've downloaded loads of fonts, and from what I recall, it's normally always stated that they are indeed free for personal use, but you must purchase for commercial purposes. A new can of worms has been opened, I'm sure.

1114 days ago
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