France's anti-piracy goon squad pirates the font in its logo

Hapodi, the French agency that's in charge of the country's new anti-piracy scheme (if someone you live with is accused of three acts of infringement, your whole household is taken offline and added to a list of address to which it is illegal to provide Internet access) has been accused of pirating the font used it its logo. The font designer is talking lawsuit. Hadopi says it wasn't infringement, just an "error of manipulation."

It's tempting to count coup here, but it's more important to recognize that Hadopi has proved that the copyright minefield is an unnavigable mess and that the guillotine is too blunt an instrument to use in its policing. If an organization charged with policing copyright with absolute, unaccountable power can't stop its employees from committing unwitting acts of infringement, how can a mere family ensure that no act of infringement takes place over its network connection?

In the meantime, I'm sure that if Hadopi commits two more acts of infringement, it will order its own offices taken offline for a period of a year.

Right?

The logo, already officially registered for 2 months with the National Institute of Industrial Property, had been created with an unlicensed font called "Bienvenue."

This font was originally created by an employee of France Telecom in 2000, designer Jean-François Porchez. Writer Julien L from French news site Numerama told TorrentFreak that the problem goes even deeper.

"The problem is, this font was an 'exclusive corporate typeface'. It couldn't be used for other purposes than France Telecom/Orange products," he told us...

Yesterday there was panic, as Hadopi tried to repair the damage by sourcing new matching fonts they could license legally.

Hadopi has issued an apology through gritted teeth, but while France Telecom-Orange has confirmed it won't be taking legal action over the infringement of its rights, the same cannot yet be said of Jean-François Porchez. He has contacted his lawyer to see what can be done.

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