Canada's Ruling on Fair Use; Effects on Search Engine Caching...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by MikeTheC, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. MikeTheC Guest


    Apr 26, 2004
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    There is an article regarding Canada's ruling and laws for fair use, and statements by various people to the effect that theoretically, search engine page cache could be construed as a violation of copyright.

    Now, forgetting all about how much BS that is, as I was walking through my kitchen tonight, the following thought occurred to me:

    Given that search engines and their caches are common conduits for people to find web pages, sites, products and services, etc., wouldn't Adobe be liable for allowing (and even specifically designing) the Acrobat PDF format to store copyrighted fonts for the effective reproductive use by others who did not buy the fonts (print shops, etc.)?

    I mean, technically, if I sit down and design a font and sell a typical, standard software license to someone for it, technically they're the only one who should be using it or have access to it. But, when they make a PDF, the font is being embedded into it, someone with Acrobat Pro could actually modify the document while retaining the integrity of the font, etc., so technically that print shop "is a thief" for having my font, and the user violated copyright law and/or their license agreement by giving someone whom they were not authorized a copy of the font.

    I know this may seem like a stretch for some, and again please understand that I do not in any way advocate this diseased kind of thinking, but it seems to me like the Canadian courts have opened up a pandora's box.

    Thoughts, anyone?
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    No, because the font is embedded and the font code cannot be extracted for use as a font.

    Remember that the visual form of the font (that is, the shape as it is laid onto paper or photons) is not copyrightable. Only the computer program (the code) that generates the font can be copyrighted. (and the name can be trademarked).

    That's how come you see knockoff fonts: they print them out, scan them, then trace them to create a new font with none of the original code. Then they give them a lookalike name like Optimus instead of Optima.

    A search engine cache however, is a different thing. It is caching complete images and text, both of which are copyrightable, and replicating them -- even in the case where the original publications (website) has been taken out of publication. That's significant, given the nature of updating on the Web. Myself I am not well chuffed with Google Images indexing and displaying my 2500 photographs from out of context for anyone to copy and use, having stripped away the rest of my website, its terms and conditions.
  3. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I think you have good reason to be upset about that. That really seems like it should be illegal.
  4. munkle macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
    You can modify your robots.txt file to tell search engines not to grab your images, theoretically...the googlebot doesn't always listen though :rolleyes:

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