Microsoft Hit With $1.3M Suit Over Hebrew Font

Did Jewish Printer Sell Rights to Lettering Decades Ago?

Letter Perfect: Artist Henry Friedlander, shown here with his family, came up with designs for what he thought were perfect Hebrew font while hiding from Nazis. How did Microsoft come to use them?
haaretz
Letter Perfect: Artist Henry Friedlander, shown here with his family, came up with designs for what he thought were perfect Hebrew font while hiding from Nazis. How did Microsoft come to use them?

By Hila Raz (Haaretz)

Published September 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The copyrights over the Hebrew type fonts known to Office users as ‏Guttman Hodes and Monotype Hadassah are the focus of a lawsuit recently filed against Microsoft at a Lod District Court.

About 70 years ago, as he was hiding from the Nazi horrors in an attic in the Netherlands, the artist Henry Friedlander began designing a Hebrew print font. Friedlander, of German descent, escaped to the Netherlands, and there, in that attic, he continued to design and perfect a Hebrew type font.

In 1958, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Israel’s independence, he completed his design, and called the font “Hadassah.”

Hannah Tal, Friedlander’s sole heir, claims that by using and advertising the font to millions of users without her permission, Microsoft is committing copyrights violations. In response, Microsoft has claimed that Tal is hiding from the courts the fact that her father transferred his rights to the font to a foundry in the Netherlands in 1950. That foundry then provided licenses to other parties to use the font, which in turn transferred the rights to the font over to Microsoft. The company also says that Tal does not own exclusive rights to the original font.

Friedlander, winner of the Johann Gutenberg prize in 1970, and an honorary professor at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts, died in 1996, at age 92.

For more go to Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.