Goldman Sachs Created A Font, But You Are Forbidden By Its License To Critique Goldman Sachs Using It

from the comically-sans dept

Even if you find financial news incredibly boring, you will be familiar with investment firm Goldman Sachs. The famed investment bank has a list of purported controversies that rivals some small nations, which will become important in a bit. First, let’s focus on this bit of hot news: Goldman Sachs developed its own font!

Goldman Sachs has released its own eponymous font, Goldman Sans, a contemporary sans-serif that garnishes merciless formality with a charming typographic “wink” here and there.

If you want to see what the font looks like, you can see it here. It’s… certainly a font? To be honest, it looks clean and fine, but not especially unique. Unlike, say, the license it issues for the use of the font, which it is also giving away for free. Because, in addition to that license stating that Goldman Sachs can rescind the license at its whim — turning anything created using it into a potential retroactive legal liability — the license also states that you cannot use Goldman Sans to criticize Goldman Sachs, which is Goldman stupid.

(C)(2)(d) The User may not use the Licensed Font Software to disparage or suggest any affiliation with or endorsement by Goldman Sachs.

(E)(2) Further, Goldman Sachs may terminate this License, without notice to the User, for any reason or no reason at all and at any time, completely at Goldman Sachs’s sole discretion.

For a company that has so many controversies listed on its Wikipedia page, it sure is thin-skinned. And given that thin-skinnedness and the fact that the license allows the company to basically make any content created with it infringement at its whim… why in the absolute hell would anyone ever create anything with this font? Like, at all?

Other than the myriad of comments in the source article and elsewhere in which folks immediately started using the font to criticize Goldman Sachs, I mean.

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Companies: goldman sachs

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Comments on “Goldman Sachs Created A Font, But You Are Forbidden By Its License To Critique Goldman Sachs Using It”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Just get a 'We are super sleazy' billboard next time guys...

Because nothing says both ‘Never use this font’ and ‘There are tons of legitimate reasons to criticize us that we are desperately trying to hide’ quite like creating a font that can have it’s use revoked on a whim and that comes packaged with a gag-order in it’s license.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

“If I were to go in with a MAGA shirt or a MAGA hat I’d get my ass beat,” says a Techdirt employee, apparently admitting to an atmosphere of political discrimination and intimidation at the company.

In further undercover footage of Techdirt’s parent company, Facebook Senior HR manager Leslie Brown can be heard admitting that it’s easier for the company to fire white males because they aren’t able to sue the company for discrimination.

“They were able to fire him without having to worry about discrimination…” says an undercover reporter.

“Right, right. Because he’s a white man. Yeah, white man. So no problem.” – Leslie Brown, Senior HR manager, Facebook.

“Oh, it’s easier when they’re..” continues the reporter.

“..White men,” says Brown, completing the reporter’s sentence. “No one has the white man’s back anymore [laughs].”

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Techdirt, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

“Arguably the highest-profile media lawyer in America…”

The Hollywood Reporter, September 22, 2016

The “go-to lawyer” for a “violation of a famous person’s rights” “Mr. Harder’s emergence as a power player happened… through a combination of grit, talent, shrewd calculation—and knowing the right people.”

New York Times, May 29, 2016

“Hollywood’s favourite lawyer”

Financial Times [UK], August 26, 2016

“Have a score to settle with the press? Charles Harder, the media lawyer who ground to dust, is your man… he doesn’t hate journalists—he just wants to teach them some manners.”

GQ Magazine, December 2016, Men of the Year 2016 Issue

“If you’re looking for a lawyer to bring a publication to its knees, [Charles] Harder’s the leader in the clubhouse.”

Above the Law, October 6, 2017

“Everyone is terrified of Gawker slayer
Charles Harder”

Nina Burleigh, news reporter and book author
The Daily Beast, January 26, 2019

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

I’m not entirely sure what your list of PR fluff has to do with your original stream of idiocy, but Google can give you many more. For example:

"Attorneys Rip Trump Lawyer Charles Harder for ‘Absolutely Ridiculous’ Letter, Urge CNN to Tell Him to ‘Go F***’ Himself"

That seems more apt overall…

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aerinai (profile) says:

Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

Wow, TechDirt being mentioned as a ‘tech’ company right up there with Google, Facebook, and Twitter. I, for one, am impressed this troll has elevated TD to that high of a position. Congrats guys you’ve made it! I love Tech Dirt, but its million unique visitors a month doesn’t hold a candle to Google, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

Obvious troll is obvious, but I could use some practice after having taken a break for a while.

  1. What evidence do you have that Facebook is a parent company to Techdirt?
  2. Where might others actually view this footage you found?
  3. Even if true, that only means that it’s less trouble to fire whites than blacks because the former are less likely to sue for discrimination than the latter, which is true. It doesn’t mean that whites get fired more often than blacks or that there is any official policy to do so. It also suggests that any bias is in the legal system or how it’s used rather than in Facebook’s hiring practices, and it’s not political bias.
  4. What does that have to do with this article?
  5. Unless you’re soliciting for someone else or are using a pseudonym, it would appear your name is Allum Bokhari, making it odd that you posted as an AC. Regardless, what you’re doing is advertising in someone else’s comment section, which is frowned upon in most internet fora. Plus, considering Techdirt’s small size, I highly doubt that there’d be many insiders with a bone to pick with the site.
This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:


Several years ago, I penned a satirical version of David Bowie’s "Space Oddity," with Goldman Sachs substituted for Ground Control and a defensible moniker for Obama substituted for Major Tom. For publication, I was just waiting for the right font to set it to. I think I finally found it. 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Font copyright

Computer fonts can be copyrighted, because they include software (e.g., hinting). But their output, i.e. the typefaces, cannot be copyrighted. So, if you were to find examples of Goldman Sans around the web (say on GS’s site, or that "GOLDMAN SACHS SUCKS" image) you’d be perfectly free to screenshot each letter and build a message or even a new font out of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sorry, _ut the first three letters of the _lphet _re _opyrighted _nd tr__dem_rked the intelle_tu_l property of the _merin _ro_dsting _ompny, division of Wlt Disney In. _ny use of these letters in _re_ting fonts without prior _uthoriztion from Disney __st mem_er is infringement _nd will _e prose_uted to the fullest extent of the l_w.

Rekrul says:

From time to time, I browse online repositories of free fonts and I’m always amazed at how many different fonts there are that look virtually identical with really nothing to distinguish them from each other. You could mix letters from a dozen different, but similar fonts in a single banner and nobody would give it a second look.

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