Pirates on parade

15 May 2002

Over the last three years eleven foundries have been fighting a court case against an anonymous internet user known only as ‘Apostrophe’ (or ‘Apostrofe’, ‘'’ or just plain “Ticky”). This case was finally settled out of court by all parties at the beginning of February. Now we have a chance to look at what the case was about, why it happened in the first place and what are the repercussions of this matter and the events surrounding it.


The defendant repeatedly uploaded several thousand commercial fonts

You may not be familiar with this case at all, so here is a brief summary of the accusations: the defendant repeatedly uploaded several thousand commercial fonts to usenet news groups (alt.binaries.fonts) and web sites. These were subsequently downloaded by internet users all over the world.

While the case was settled ‘out of court’ there are no badges for ‘winner’ and ‘loser’, neither are the details of the settlement public. However, there is clearly a lot of information about the whole case that can be discerned.

One of the titbits of information that those not directly involved in this case want to know: the true identity of the accused…

But first, an important note. As you read this please bear one thing in mind: the defendant in this case, ‘Apostrophe’, was asked to take part in assembling this article, he declined. If there are any accusations of one-sided reporting, speculation or rhetoric, then the blame for that can be squarely laid on the party who refused to take part.

Read the rest of this article:

Just who is that masked man? 15/05/2002 preview
Internet heroes and villains hide behind pseudonyms, but is there any real anonymity involved?

Damage done 15/05/2002 preview
What is the affect of having your main, or in some cases only, source of income uploaded to the internet for anyone to download freely?

Crime and punishment 15/05/2002 preview
Are there direct ways to help resolve conflicts of this sort, can the law be changed or is copy protection an answer?

Why did Apostrophe do it? 15/05/2002 preview
What motivates a person to expose themselves to what could become a devastating legal investigation?

What’s the conclusion? 15/05/2002 preview
The case is settled, everyone goes home, but is there a lasting legacy?


Clive Bruton e:clive@indx.co.uk w:http://www.indx.co.uk

Related sites

TypeRight w:http://www.typeright.org

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