Here’s Why The Lawsuit Against Hasbro For The (Alleged) Font Pirating For My Little Pony Is Absurd
When you think of anything associated to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, most often, the first thing you think about in your memory is the shape of the letters of the words “My Little Pony.” The font that the letters of the title of the show are in, stylistically, are something that are not only memorable, but strangely, comfortable, child-like, almost soothing. Which is why we were taken a bit back yesterday when news broke across the internet that Hasbro, the company that is behind the making of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is being sued for allegedly pirating the font that the show’s title artwork is in.
The mystery surrounding this information on the internet, as it just began to make the rounds yesterday, is that the lawsuit popped up firstly on a popular illegal download pirate bit-torrent website. We here at Brony.com, find this a bit odd, considering that as this could likely be considered big news–why wasn’t it picked up by the big internet news outlets first?
Investigating a bit yesterday, it’s become known that the lawsuit is being slapped on Hasbro by Font Brothers America. Font Brothers are claiming copyright on the “Generation B” Font which is the font used stylistically for the show’s title letters etc.., merchandise, branding etc..
While, there is certainly a lot of fine print reading that one needs to partake in regarding the legalities of licensing, copyright, ownership etc., a quick internet search via Google lead us to the Font Brothers Official website HERE.
It’s here that you learn about the Font Brothers:
Harold Lohner was born in upstate New York in 1958. He received an MFA in printmaking from the University at Albany and is Professor of Visual Arts at Sage College of Albany.
He began making fonts in 1997 and starting distributing them the next year through Harold’s Fonts. He still works in the medium of monoprint and regularly exhibits his prints. He lives in Albany, New York with his partner, Al Martino, and their two cats.
The part about this lawsuit that doesn’t really make a heck of a hole lot of sense is that the font in question “Generation B” can be licensed from the Font Brothers website for $19.95.
Regardless of whether some graphic artist at Hasbro pirated the font or not, ultimately at the end of the day, the lawsuit seems quit pointless if anyone can license the font for $20 bucks, when you take into consideration the recent statement from the attorney for the Font Brothers:
“Font Brothers has lost, and will continue to lose, substantial revenue from Defendant’s wrongful use, copying, distribution, and creation of unauthorized infringing works based upon the GENERATION B font software.”
The question becomes: How are the Font Brothers losing continuous money, when they are selling the font for $ 20 bucks for use? As it states in the font licensing agreement on the Font Brothers website, the font can be used for your logo and there is no indication via their licensing agreement that anything with the font pertaining to public broadcast or sales of merchandise with your logo in that font is prohibited.
[Read Font Brothers Licensing Agreement HERE]
According to the Font Brothers website the “Generation B” font was:
“Inspired by the opening titles of the Walt Disney film, The Parent Trap (1961), designed by T. Hee, Bill Justice and Xavier Atencio, Generation B is a playful and offbeat font with a late 50s-early 60s vibe that goes from beatnik coffeehouse to rustic beach shack. It’s basically an all-caps font, with big and small versions of each letter plus some alternates. With a little tweaking, you can create the look of quirky hand-lettering.”
If the “Generation B” font was inspired by the opening titles of the Disney film, The Parent Trap (1961), then didn’t the Font Brothers just copy an existing font in the first place for Generation B? We do live in the age of the Post-Modernist, especially now in the age of the internet, don’t we?
Isn’t this really just the Font Brothers attempt at cashing in, or trying to cash in, on the mega success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? Or are they in the right?
What do you think? Tell us below in the comments section.