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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.

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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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53 COMMENTS

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31.

Bubbles The Chimp    

Sansea: I agree with this. P22 is in the habit of stealing typefaces from historical do***ents which are now in the public domain, then setting licenses under their name for their creation of the font.

P22 by all accounts is a thief in itself.

1139 days ago
32.

jealous of kate    

$1.5 million??? ridiculous... and if they KNEW to contact them to 'BUY' the font???? Probably like a few cents per use. Hey, since they are calling it 'CEZANNE' font and it is obviously a tip to the Artist Paul Cezanne-do THEY, the owners of this font, pay money to Cezanne's estate (if there is one)everytime THEY USE THEIR FONT???? If there is no estate, no relatives, what gives THEM the right to copy right Cezanne's look???

1139 days ago
33.

zoolady    

This is a totally BS suit. Special permission should never be required once you've purchased a font as to what you are going to use it for. As a graphic designer, I make ads all the time with fonts that have been legally purchased. If we had to get permission to use them after we purchased them it would stymie the entire design industry's SOP.

1139 days ago
34.

Bubbles The Chimp    

Zoolady: I am also a designer within the music industry and we go through loads of fonts in our design work. You can be damn certain every P22 font that exists in our catalogue will be deleted and the company will be forever wiped from our memory... rather than have to deal with their nonsense should it arise.

Especially from a company that is basically stealing typefaces from well known deceased people then licensing them like they created them. Pathetic.

1139 days ago
35.

C Carroll Adams PhD    

USA law does not allow a copyright on the design of a typeface, only on the name of the typeface.

Think how many variations there are of Helvetica, all under different names in the USA. Same is true for Times New Roman.

However, many other nations do allow a copyright of the form of letters in a typeface.

The flaw with this lawsuit is that it needs to be filed in another jurisdiction.

1139 days ago
36.

Dorinha    

I am sure that the timing of this lawsuit and the premiere of the Harry Potter finale is entirely coincidental.

1139 days ago
37.

croc    

i have my own font too.
dont use it or i'll sue.
actually waiting for someone to use it
so i CAN sue.. only in America.

1139 days ago
38.

HangoverPictures.com    

Xzibit wants to know why there are no black people in Harry Potter?

1139 days ago
39.

anony    

The one thing more powerful than witchcraft: litigation.

1139 days ago
40.

Superman    

You got to admire a person who creates multiple user accounts to try to act like their stupid BS doesn't stink! LOSER!

1139 days ago
41.

Mulder    

@nothanksdontneedone

"I love how people are completely ignorant of copyright laws."

You must be including yourself in that broad stroke of assumption.

Fonts and font software are indeed copyrighted works, and their names are trademarked. Fonts do become an integral part of corporate identity programs, but that doesn't make the font or the word spelled with that font the exclusive property of that company.

And if you actually knew what you were talking about, you'd know that there is no Coca-Cola typeface. Their logo was done by hand by skilled calligraphers. In fact, that logo isn't even used on their corporate stationery.

Check your assumptions at the door.

1139 days ago
42.

Some Guy    

There is no copyright in Font. Period. This is long standing and established intellectual property law. Look it up. The only way around it is claiming that it is actually software and not font.

1139 days ago
43.

en Todo Momento!!    

dude, tmz. if yer gonna show the font in question, then could you please show the font in question? or just add: please go get a magnifying glass if you want to see what we are talking about, because wesa gonna print it real small....geeze.

1139 days ago
44.

Goro    

That font isn't worth $1.5 million, and how is that even damaging? P22 should just get over it and move on. Idiots.

1139 days ago
45.

benrapistberger    

If you are educated in graphic design, go on to get your masters in typography, and literally draw every letter that becomes a font yeah. I think you've earned the rights to pick and choose who gets to use a font and who doesn't. It's like having someone mass producing and copying the Chanel logo!

1139 days ago
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