See http://www.typeright.org for more on the justicebehind this.
The sticking point is that under established law,
typefaces are viewed as a "utilitarian
device"--similar to a knife or a screwdriver--and
therefore do not meet copyright guidelines.
(Software, on the other hand, is viewed as a "work
of authorship" containing enough creative
elements to meet copyright criteria.) The
controversy in the software industry concerns
whether computer font files are considered as
formulas for generating typefaces or as source
------- Forwarded Message
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 14:10:31 -0800
From: Todd Fahrner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fonts copyrightable, US judge rules
"For let us suppose that someone makes a number of marks on paper quite at
"random, as do those who practice the ridiculous art of geomancy [web
"design - ed]. I say that it is possible to find a geometrical line, the
"notion of which is constant & uniform according to a certain rule, such
"that this line passes through all these points, and in the same order as
"the hand had marked them."
- --Leibniz, the other calculus guy
------- End of Forwarded Message