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.

Filed Under: fonts, goldman sans, license, streisand effect
Companies: goldman sachs


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Jun 2020 @ 6:39pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 25 Jun 2020 @ 7:17pm

    Advice for GS

    Maybe Goldman Sachs should fire Lloyd Blankfein and hire Barbara Streisand; she knows what it's like when unintended consequences happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2020 @ 8:14pm

    As a typeface designer, Goldman Sachs font sucks. It's corporate and boring. The M is atrocious. The J is offensive. The only elements that distinguish it from existing typefaces are the terrible ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 25 Jun 2020 @ 8:39pm

    The M is atrocious

    Perhaps some clueless corporation that's never been mentioned here on Techdirt before will monster them about that letter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 25 Jun 2020 @ 8:45pm

    Other font

    Fuck Goldman Sachs. In Every Other Font.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2020 @ 8:59pm

    Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

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

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2020 @ 9:00pm

      Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

      Wow, that's terrible!

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    • identicon
      Pixelation, 25 Jun 2020 @ 9:37pm

      Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

      Obvious tr0ll is obvious. Try a LOT harder, like Charles.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2020 @ 9:54pm

      Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

      Ah yes, tech companies and other corporations are well known for their lack of white men.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2020 @ 2:52am

        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.”

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        Charles Harder”

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        The Daily Beast, January 26, 2019

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2020 @ 2:52am

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

          oops - 2020

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 Jun 2020 @ 3:18am

          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"

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 27 Jun 2020 @ 3:27pm

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

          Is there a point to all that?

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 Jun 2020 @ 11:40pm

      Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

      Your elaborate fantasy worlds get simultaneously more complex and more childish. That's some kind of achievement, I guess...

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      • identicon
        Bobvious, 26 Jun 2020 @ 12:35am

        Re: Re: Techdirt CAUGHT by Project Veritas!

        It's amazing what you can achieve with a daily oral dose of chloroquine, spray tan, pseudoephedrine and ketamine.

        You can order your CSPK Shots online. Just order them from projectveritas.wh.gov

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    • icon
      aerinai (profile), 26 Jun 2020 @ 9:27am

      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.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 27 Jun 2020 @ 3:26pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lorgskyegon (profile), 25 Jun 2020 @ 10:00pm

    It looks like Goldman Sachs actually thinks they have

    A font of power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2020 @ 10:17pm

    Finally!

    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. ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tp (profile), 26 Jun 2020 @ 12:43am

    Guess I'll use comic sans for business now

    Now that Goldman's font is unavailable, the next idea for my business would be to use comic sans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 26 Jun 2020 @ 3:10am

    merciless ... winks ... ;) ;) ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2020 @ 8:53am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2020 @ 11:34am

    I have to believe the use of "myriad" was intentional.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2020 @ 2:23pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Known coward, 26 Jun 2020 @ 3:44pm

    Their own font?? Someone has to much time and money on their hands. Give it back to their customers

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 29 Jun 2020 @ 6:18pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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