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No Sales To Sweden
June 8, 2009

Ever since the Pirate Bay case, I've been monitoring Sweden's stance on software piracy. Yesterday I read some disappointing news:

The Swedish people have voted to elect a "Pirate Party" member to a seat in the European Parliament. According to Reuters, Sweden's Pirate Party "struck a chord with voters who want more free content on the internet. The party wants to deregulate copyright, abolish the patent system and reduce surveillance on the Internet." Why stop there? Why not make it legal to steal a CD from the local store too?

How in the world have the Swedish people allowed such a blunder to take place? Are they really this short-sighted? Do they not realize that if you devalue the work of the creator, you also eliminate original work and naturally reduce the quality of the work that is released?

Privacy is a good thing. But criminals have no right to privacy. They forfeit that right the minute they break the law. Make no mistake, this movement is not about privacy for law abiding citizens. This is about being able to steal and share copyrighted music, movies, software and fonts-- legally. But it goes even further than that. Without copyright laws, an individual can steal content from an artist and turn around and sell it, thus making a profit off of someone else's work. This is what Sweden wants? Sweden has always been a leader in creative endeavors, but now they are about to stifle that creativity.

The whole thing is a little ironic for me. My stepmother is Swedish and I was raised in a home where we observed Swedish customs. Even Tom Kennedy, one of our most popular artists, is based in Sweden. I am quite sure that there are many Swedes who appreciate the work we do and do not share our fonts. Being artists themselves, they understand the value of our work.

But the majority of Swedes have spoken and they want free stuff. Fair enough. I want free stuff too. So I'll make a deal with the Swedish Pirate Party. Start a font foundry. "Pirate Party Fonts". And create, say a hundred or so fonts... good stuff... original stuff that doesn't exist (no distressed sans serif knock-offs or Dover book rehashes). When you have accomplished this, let me know. Letterhead Fonts will then offer all our fonts for free too. Agreed?

Until that day, or the day they take a step towards honoring the rights of creators, the Swedish people have no right to expect us to create free fonts for them. Letterhead Fonts will not do business with any individual, group or country that displays such a blatant disregard for the rights of our artists.