About unauthorized copy of 32-dot bitmap font

Hiroki KANOU <kanou@khdd.net>

June 27, 2003

Version 2

This is a translation of the first two chapters of the original document in Japanese at http://khdd.net/kanou/fonts/stolenbitmap.html.


On June 15, 2003, it was made clear that the 32-dot bitmap font so-called "Watanabe font" is an unauthorized copy from a commercial font. The font is broadly used in a number of packages.

The original font is the 32-dot bitmap font TypeBank Mincho-M (TBMM). Although the current version of TBMM seems to have been improved, we guess that the copy is made from the version developed jointly by TypeBank and Design Laboratory, Hitachi,Ltd. (currently Design Division, Hitachi,Ltd.) and distributed as ROM.

Background of detection

I found examples of three glyphs "`v" in a supplemental article for the article "An all-out study of word processors -low resolution digital fonts", which was on the PR magazine "Aste" Vol.1 No.2 (December 6, 1984) by Ryobi Printing Equipment Sales Co. (currently Ryobi Imagix, Co..) I compared these dot patterns with the 32-dot BDF font (-watanabe-fixed-medium-r-normal--32-300-75-75-c-320-jisx0208.1983-0) and found that they are identical.

The three glyphs on the article

Later, I found other glyphs that are identical to the 32-dot BDF font on the cover and pages 14 and 16 of the same magazine, on the jacket, Figure 37 (p.43), Figure 76 (p.88), Figure 81 (p.105), Figure 92-1 (p.116), and Figure 113-4 (p.162) of the book "Shotai-wo-tsukuru, Hayashi Takao typeface studies" by Takao Hayashi (Justsystem, November 15, 1996. ISBN:4-88309-431-6)

Change log of the Japanese version

The newest Japanese version of this document can be viewed at http://khdd.net/kanou/fonts/stolenbitmap.html.

Following chapters: Identical glyphs, Different glyphs, Influences are omitted in this translation.

Change log of English translation

The newest translated version of this document can be viewed at http://khdd.net/kanou/fonts/stolenbitmap.en.html.