Adobe Sues Over Emdedded Fonts In PDF Files, Company On Receving End Of DMCA Complaint

Adobe has announced a lawsuit against the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) concerning a dispute over PDF files. Adobeis Portable Document Format (PDF) allows users to design a document that can be read by anyone on any platform with a PDF reader. Fonts, images, and formatting are all embedded in the document itself, ensuring that the document looks exactly the same no matter where it is being viewed. Other document formats, such as Wordis .doc format, AppleWorks documents, and even HTML require that the user have the font used in the document on their system, otherwise some other font is substituted. The point of the PDF format was to free users, especially corporate customers, from having to worry about what the recipient had on his or her system, or even which platform was being used.

According to the Adobeis press release, a bruhaha has developed between two of the font controlling agencies, ITC and Monotype, regarding customersi rights to embed those fonts. Adobe, which earns substantial revenue from the sale of Acrobat, the app with which one makes PDF files, is suing to maintain the current status quo on this issue.

In another interesting aspect to this, Adobe says that the two groups have alleged that Acrobat itself violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the same law used by Adobe to have Dmitry Sklyarov arrested for reverse engineering Adobeis eBook encryption. That action, and the subsequent arrest and prosecution of Mr. Sklyarov, helped galvanize opposition to the anti-free speech, and anti-Fair Use, DMCA.

From Adobeis press release:

Adobe Systems Incorporated, the leader in network publishing, today announced it has asked the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., for declaratory relief to resolve a contractual dispute that Adobe has the right to permit its customers to embed ITC (International Typeface Corporation) fonts in electronic documents. Adobe is also filing an arbitration proceeding in London seeking affirmation of the same contractual rights with respect to Monotype fonts. Adobe attempted to resolve this matter informally with Monotype and ITC, but was unsuccessful.

By taking these actions, Adobe hopes to resolve these issues for its customers.

"Many years ago Adobe anticipated the shift to electronic documents. At that time, we obtained the embedding rights from our font partners necessary to permit the creation of electronic documents," said Jim Heeger, senior vice president, cross media products. "We are now defending the rights we obtained for our customers to continue to conduct business in the electronic age."

In addition, Adobe has asked the court to declare that Adobeis popular Acrobat product does not violate certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as claimed by ITC and Agfa Monotype. Adobe believes these claims are being made to gain ITC and Agfa leverage in the contractual disputes. Adobe strongly disputes this claim and is asking the court to rule that there is no violation of the DMCA.

You can find more information on Adobe at the companyis Web site.