May 21, 2024

Adobe Files DMCA Challenge

Adobe has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that its Acrobat product does not violate the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions. (Here’s Adobe’s press release. I don’t have a link to the court papers yet.)

Here is the story, as far as I can tell at this point:
Any TrueType-compatible font can be labeled with bits saying whether permission is granted to embed the font into documents. Adobe Acrobat apparently does not always obey the bits’ commands. Adobe says they have good reasons for this, and that in any case Acrobat’s use of fonts does not infringe any copyright. The other party (International Typeface Corporation, or ITC) says that Acrobat is a DMCA-violating circumvention device.

It’s way to early to speculate about the merits of Adobe’s case. But there is some karmic justice in the fact that Adobe, which kicked off the Sklyarov/Elcomsoft DMCA mess, now finds itself on the other end of a DMCA threat.