Design/type house Plazm Media, Portland, Ore., was proud to announce earlier this week that it's run afoul of McDonald's, having been served a cease and desist letter by attorneys for the fat factory. It seems the M in the Capitalis Pirata font, which resembles the famed Golden Arches, is "likely to confuse the public into believing that Plazm is in some way associated with McDonald's," and that such use "dilutes McDonald's Corporation's trademark rights." The typeface in question was created by Dutch designer Roland Henss, "in an effort to explore the meaning of corporate iconography in our world," according to Plazm. "By placing corporate icons into the form of an alphabet, Henss challenges the notion of ownership of letterforms. Since a copyright cannot be placed on the alphabet itself, this typeface raises issues about the boundaries of ownership and the proprietary nature of letterforms in the public domain." The Plazm statement goes on to say, "As designers, educators and artists we are interested in better understanding the power of corporate iconography in the world today. Capitalis Pirata is a fully functioning digital typeface, available strictly for education and discussion purposes. Capitalis Pirata is for free distribution only and may not be sold." Nevertheless, "In an effort to stay in business, we have forcibly removed the upper case M from the alphabet." See www.plazm.com/fonts/downloads
for a free download of the newly modified version of Capitalis Pirata or to read the cease and desist letter. And make sure you get a large fries with that.