The Case of Vegur

So I feel the need to address an issue that many have asked about: why do we use the font we do instead of using the actual fonts from Windows Phone 7? Well that font is Vegur by Dot Colon. Allow me to explain my perspective as to why we use Vegur instead of Segoe, and let me know you opinion in the comment section below.

The Vegur Font Family by Dot Colon

The Vegur Font Family by Dot Colon

For starters the entire Segoe family is owned by Microsoft, inc and its name is a registered trademark. Now according to US copyright law it is not possible to copyright the shapes of letters; but it is possible to copyright the computer binary that represents a given font. That means that “clean-room reverse engineering” of a font is perfectly legal assuming that the resulting binaries are not identical.

The Vegur font was made by Dot Colon and released into the public domain. That means that we have the legal rights to use and bundle it with any and all of our applications without the need to pay an expensive licensing fee or royalty. It also mitigates any chance of proprietary binaries making their way into out applications, as our entire user interface library is based on clean-room reverse engineering written entirely in the Java programming language using the Android SDK.

Now some have argued that what we are doing might be enough grounds legally speaking to just go all the way with our user interface and use Segoe, but I have a few quarrels with this notion. I should think that my countless ours spent developing this library in another programming language using a separate SDK and for a different operating system protects my work from legal action. I have neither access to internal source code, nor bytecode that could be reverse engineered programmatically. The only time I have used a Windows Phone 7 device was at my local shopping mall, and all development is done on my laptop PC running Ubuntu. It is simply absurd to imagine that I have a leg up over any developer, I just watch videos on YouTube and work my magic.

Many forget what the name of our project represents. The + in Seven+ refers to an improvement, like the increment operator explanation for how C++ got its name. Our applications offer more features and customizations than their predecessors. Rather than be an identical clone, we are an improvement.

The final reason for my choosing Vegur is a desire to help out Dot Colon and organizations like it. Microsoft has enough attention as is and needs no assistance in obtaining more. I hope that our use of the Vegur font will bring Dot Colon more attention to its great work, and perhaps a few donors along the way.

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