Sanctions that muddy the waters

From RadioFreeEurope / RadioLiberty:

Monotype Imaging, the U.S. company that owns several of the most popular fonts used on computers, says it has blocked access to its catalogue for users in Russia amid ongoing international sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The confirmation came after the newspaper Vedomosti in Russia quoted IT sources as saying that users in Russia were unable to access Monotype’s fonts catalogue, meaning they cannot use popular fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Helvetica.

When computer users inside Russia attempt to open a page to access the fonts they receive a message saying: “The site owner may have set restrictions that prevent you from accessing the site.”

However, the story goes on to explain that ordinary internet users in Russia will not be affected. Damn. What an uproar there would be if Ivan Q. Public couldn’t tweet or use tiktok.

I wonder how the Russian government will explain this to those who are affected?

Banner image from RFE/RL

5 thoughts on “Sanctions that muddy the waters

  1. So, if “ordinary users” are not affected, who is? Newspapers, I assume? Seems like there would be some legible alternative, but then I never thought that much about fonts.

  2. The article says, “Lawyers and experts told Vedomosti that the denial of access will not affect ordinary Internet users in Russia, but publishing houses and companies involved in producing computer software might be unable to use the fonts in the near future.” Jamming up the publishers would create a mess for mass communications. Or at least annoy them. Comic Sans, anyone?

... and that's my two cents