Recently, Microsoft Yahei unexpectedly is not free font triggered a wide discussion of public opinion, once on the hot search list on the Internet. Beijing Youth Daily reporter learned that Microsoft Yahei is the embedded font of Windows operating system, which can be directly used without downloading and installing. However, enterprises or online stores used in brand promotion were sued by Beijing Peking University Founder Electronics Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Peking University Founder) for infringement on the grounds that users use Microsoft Yahei font for the purpose of commercial release and need to pay additional copyright fees.
Whether fonts are protected by copyright law is still controversial in legal circles. Legal experts believe that artistic fonts can be protected by copyright law, and the degree of protection should depend on their originality. Lawyers also said that Windows users should not be the subject of Beijing University Founders tort liability in view of the Microsoft Yahei infringement.
Users do not know the commercial infringement of Microsoft Yahei
On March 7 this year, a consulting company in Chengdu, Sichuan, received an e-mail from Founder, Peking University, reminding the company of unauthorized use of multiple Founder fonts in brand promotion. Please check the feedback in time to avoid legal risks.
According to an unnamed employee of the consulting company, Founders three fonts were used in several promotional pictures on its official website and Wechat Public Number. Subsequently, Founder of Peking University contacted the consulting company to inform it of font infringement and request that it purchase the copyright of the font which has been used for one year.
For Founders three infringement fonts, we have one objection - Microsoft Yahei font, because Microsoft Yahei is embedded font in Windows operating system, it can be used directly without downloading and installing. The staff and workers of the consulting company said. Beijing Youth Daily reporter found that many enterprises and online stores are using Microsoft Yahei font, Beijing University Founder is suing infringement. For example, the recent Microsoft Yahei is not free font incident, which appeared on the hot search list on the Internet, was also caused by a company intern using Microsoft Yahei and pirated PS software to print 50 million sample manuscripts and use them for commercial purposes, resulting in the company being prosecuted, with a loss of 28.6 million yuan.
What is the relationship between Microsoft Yahei and Founder font? The reporter of Beiqing Daily inquired to the customer service staff of Fangzheng font as a consultant. The other side explained that as early as Microsoft entered China, Microsoft commissioned Founder of Peking University to create Microsoft Yahei fonts, but the copyright is still owned by Founder of Peking University. When users use Windows operating system, Microsoft Yahei fonts can be displayed on the screen or printed for personal purposes free of charge, but for the purpose of commercial publishing, they need to pay copyright fees. In paid fonts, the authorization fee for the so-called basic fonts is 7,000 yuan per year, and the authorization fee for the so-called fine Fonts is as high as 20,000 yuan per year.
However, many companies and individuals do not understand the above situation, and the expensive licensing fees are unacceptable to many people for a while. When used without any infringement prompt, who knows it is to pay for it! If you really want to protect your rights, just add the word pay after the font. A clerk in the art industry told the Beijing Youth Daily.
In view of the fact that Microsoft Yahei font has no obvious copyright declaration or payment prompt in Windows operating system, the reporter of Beijing Youth Daily contacted the head of Founder Marketing Department of Peking University, who said that he would not accept the interview.
Businessmen encounter the promotion of Preferential Packaging Scheme
Another businessman disclosed to the Beijing Youth Daily reporter that when Founder of Peking University was investigating the infringement of font use, it also encountered the situation of promoting preferential packaging scheme.
According to a shopkeeper of an e-commerce platform, Founder of Peking University told him that the font used in the product introduction on its page was unauthorized. It required that all links using Founder font be removed from the shelves within two days and uploaded after the font modification was completed. The shopkeeper asked, Can you relax the time? Founder staff of Peking University responded that time is stipulated by the Center for the Defense of Rights. We are authorization centers and belong to two departments. We can not interfere in their work. Please forgive me.
However, Fangzheng font library customer service later said that as long as authorized, the fonts beyond the authorized scope can be relaxed to one month to complete the modification, while promoting preferential packaging programs to shopkeepers: The minimum purchase of two fonts authorized, if five, the highest discount can be applied for a 20% discount.
Unfortunately, the shopkeeper expressed his willingness to choose two basic fonts. Unexpectedly, Founder staff of Peking University quickly changed their words and said, The basic font should be authorized at least 10 items, and the effect is not as good as the selected font. After repeated negotiations, the shopkeeper finally purchased the authorization of a basic font and a selected font.
Creative art words can be protected by copyright law
Judging from the recent cases of Fangzheng font library safeguarding rights, the courts judgments are not the same. Should fonts be protected by copyright law? Feng Xiaoqing, professor of the School of Civil and Commercial Economics and Law of China University of Political Science and Law and director of the Institute of Intellectual Property Law, believes that artistic fonts, if they meet the requirements of originality, can be protected by copyright law as works of art. However, the degree of protection can not be generalized, but should depend on the degree of originality.
Although different fonts have certain recognition, the ultimate goal of Chinese characters is to record facts and express ideas, on the premise of not affecting the ultimate purpose of expression and meaning of Chinese characters. Therefore, specific cases should be analyzed. Some fonts do have strong originality and high artistry, so they should enjoy a higher degree of copyright law protection; some fonts are not so obvious originality, whether they constitute infringement when used by the majority of merchants, if there are infringement disputes, it needs specific analysis by the court. At the same time, we should consider many factors, such as the commercial use of fonts, environment, subjective and objective conditions, etc.
In short, the question of whether the use of fonts for commercial purposes constitutes infringement when they are unpaid and unauthorized cannot be solved in a one-size-fits-all manner. Feng Xiaoqing said. In any case, from the perspective of copyright protection, attention should be paid to dealing with the relationship between the boundary of copyright rights and the public sphere. Copyright law is a balancing mechanism between the protection of rights and the restriction of rights, the protection of private rights and public interests. Copyright owners can fully and effectively exercise their rights, but they can not abuse their rights to the detriment of consumer interests and public interests.
Wen/our reporter Wang Bin Laijia
Windows Users Should not Be the Subject of Founders Infringement Liability of Peking University
Dialogue: Lu Gang, a lawyer of Beijing Cube Law Firm
Beiqing Daily: According to Founder Company of Peking University, the copyright of Microsoft Yahei, which is embedded in Windows operating system, belongs to Founder of Peking University. Users need to pay the copyright fee when they use it for the purpose of commercial publication. What do you think?
Lu Gang: The principle of exhaustion of rights is an important principle in intellectual property law. That is to say, once the intellectual property owner legally places the products formed by the intellectual property in the field of circulation, the rights of the original intellectual property owner (or part) are exhausted.
Specifically, on the issue of Microsoft Yahei font, Peking University is granting Microsoft Yahei font authorization (or permission) to Microsoft after it is embedded in Windows operating system. At this time, the right of copying, distribution and use of the font library intellectual property rights enjoyed by Peking University has reached the right boundary for users of Microsoft Windows operating system. That is to say, when users use the built-in Font Microsoft Yahei in Windows system, they do not need to obtain authorization from Founder, the creator of font library, and users need not know who the owner of the font library is.
At the same time, the user uses the text system of Windows system to process documents, which is also the inevitable use and natural result of computer software functions. Therefore, whether the user prints the document or uses it online, whether for personal or commercial use, it is the natural result of using the font. After all, the purpose of writing a document is to express the authors thoughts and intentions. Only by displaying readers and other audiences in the form of external dissemination can the true function of the document be embodied.
Therefore, based on the above reasons, I believe that users of Windows operating system should not be the subject of infringement liability, nor should they bear corresponding infringement liability.
Beiqing Daily: In addition to the official website of Founder of Peking University, Founder fonts can be downloaded by random search on the Internet, and even marked free software. Is this a piracy infringement? Should users be responsible for downloading and using fonts in this way? Lu Gang: First of all, for pirated font software that can be downloaded freely on the Internet, even if it is marked free to use, this is not a statement issued by the obligee. In this case, the provider of download resources belongs to the unauthorized issuance behavior of the obligee, and the users of download and installation belong to the unauthorized issuance behavior of the obligee, and need to bear tort liability separately. In addition, if the user is using a pirated Windows operating system, any built-in font library and other software programs can not be authentic (without Microsoft authorization). In this case, if we advocate infringement, Microsoft can only claim the infringement liability of pirated software against Windows operating system. Wen/Our Journalist Wang Bin Source: Beijing Youth Daily Responsible Editor: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541
Beiqing Daily: In addition to the official website of Founder of Peking University, Founder fonts can be downloaded by random search on the Internet, and even marked free software. Is this a piracy infringement? Should users be responsible for downloading and using fonts in this way?
Lu Gang: First of all, for pirated font software that can be downloaded freely on the Internet, even if it is marked free to use, this is not a statement issued by the obligee. In this case, the provider of download resources belongs to the unauthorized issuance behavior of the obligee, and the users of download and installation belong to the unauthorized issuance behavior of the obligee, and need to bear tort liability separately.
In addition, if the user is using a pirated Windows operating system, any built-in font library and other software programs can not be authentic (without Microsoft authorization). In this case, if we advocate infringement, Microsoft can only claim the infringement liability of pirated software against Windows operating system.