The End User's Manifesto

Miss Tiffany's picture

If you were to make a manifesto for the EULA, what would you include? I'm talking about the basic EULA, not the multi-server, multi-user, EULA. Do you think manifesto too strong a word? I don't, I want to make a statement. Do any of you really read the EULA before licensing type? Do any of you really NOT license type from a given foundry because of their EULA? Which foundry? Don't be shy. Let's dish!

Just wanted to toss this idea into the pit and see what came back.

.'s picture

I'm sure you know what my two cents look like on this: The EULA is "ratified" by the foundry stating it and the customer accepting it. The customer agrees to the terms set forth by the foundry. If one of those terms states that the terms of the agreement may change in the future, then caveat emptor big time. The customer is responsible for sticking to the terms of the EULA she accepted at the time of purchase, not any subsequent EULAs.

And if you see a "terms are liable to change" term in an agreement of any kind, run far far away: you may end up losing your first-born or a pound of flesh.

John Nolan's picture

Yeah, I guess I was wrong on the implications of the hypothetical "variable term" EULA.

Still, I've never seen one of those for a font. Has any one else seen one?

Perhaps we should steer this discussion back towards the very real difficulties in current EULAs. I'll propose a topic:

Does it bother any one else that they're not allowed to alter the kerning in a font if the EULA doesn't allow modifications?

Miss Tiffany's picture

John, I am going to be speaking to the tech forum on exactly this topic. The complaints users have about EULAs. I will definitely mention your complaint as it is a complaint others have had. I personally think the EULA, any EULA, should allow for modifications, but with the caveat that if the user jacks-up their font they can't complain to the foundry asking for a new copy if they didn't keep a back-up. Not that this is what you would do, John.

Aren't there any other fiddly bits in EULAs that really rub people the wrong way? Or are EULAs user friendly already?

John Nolan's picture

Well, how about the EULAs that permit only one backup copy? What's THAT about? Don't most backup strategies include at least 2 backups?

Or, how about how hard it is to find and read some of the EULAs. Have a look at the Monotype EULA page. They ask you to agree without even showing you the agreement.

But fine, we're all savvy here, just click on "Show agreement", set below the "I accept..." button. Try reading this baby through the letter slot window provided!

One can't be blamed for suspecting they don't REALLY want me to consider what I'm agreeing to. Do they think I might not like it?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Excellent Point, John.

I do know some foundries have their EULAs front and center, but quite a few do not. does an excellent job of giving anyone interested the opportunity to read the EULA for any of the foundries they represent. The license agreement is on the main page for each foundry. Kinda strange that I can't expland the window, but no worries I can cut and paste and save it for later. I thought MyFonts had something similar, but a quick look shows nothing. A quick look around FontShop, nothing. Adobe, nothing. Linotype, front page albeit light gray and toward the bottom. House Industries has a link right at the top of the homepage. Emigre has a 'font related faq' on their homepage, that sends you to a list of questions with the licensing question at the top. Village has the EULA for each foundry on their respective pages in bold black type. LICENSING Nice!

I do know some foundries show you the EULA before downloading, useful, but not totally smart. Foundries who hide their EULAs from interested parties are telling those interested parties that they don't really care. Not so nice.

MyFonts, Linotype, FontShop all offer download after the fact. They keep track of your account. I think Veer does as well. With lifetime download you don't need to make back-ups, or at least more than their EULAs allow. Nice.

John Nolan's picture

Yes, Tiffany, the only way I've found of viewing the EULAs at FontShop (and a couple of others), is to begin the purchasing process, and then back out. I love the fact that Veer's site makes them easy to find.

Hildebrant's picture

Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said?

I think it is quite obvious. If you put ridiculous restrictions on me, I will not support your foundry. We buy, on average, a font family every week for my firm, and we own several complete libraries.

There are foundries that I will NOT support, for the simple fact of these ridiculous restrictions that make the font useless to us.

The Village EULA is a perfect example of what we need. Kudos on that.

A word to the others. I AM NOT BUYING YOUR FONTS. Get with the picture and give us the freedom we need to do our jobs. No one is asking for a free ride, just some professional flexibility.

Si_Daniels's picture

To keep this ticking along here’s a summary of items for the manifesto – these cover the “moving the goalposts” scenarios.

1. Easy access to the standard font EULA on every font foundry site – a link to the EULA should have the same hierarchical status us ‘contact us’, ‘home’ etc., on a web site. EULA should clearly declare date it went into effect.
2. Easy access to deprecated EULA’s – what were the rules when I actually licensed the fonts?
3. A EULA that matches the information encoded within the font – most obviously embedding bits – don’t make the EULA contradict the embedding bits set in the font. Make sure ownership © and TM, vendor ID, links, embedded description and license are accurate and match the EULA.
4. Don’t set restrictions like “may only be embedded securely” – I don’t want my documents to suddenly become illegal the moment a hacker beyond my control works out how to extract the fonts or outlines from a given file format.

Cheers, Si

Miss Tiffany's picture

Si, I'd add to point 2 ... or rather I'll add ...

Does the EULA which applied to the license I purchased always apply? Or am I, the user, always held under whatever the current EULA might be?

Isn't it an assumed thing ... oops assuming is bad ... that embedding will be secure? I think the major point, problem, concern, with embedding is simply being allowed to embed in things such as PDFs for proofing and for service bureaus.

Kyle's company won't license from foundry's that don't allow embedding. How many people are willing to stick to something like that? Do people license anyway and ignore that point in the EULA? Do foundries assume people are doing this and yet still do not change the EULA? Do foundries care? Do foundries not care and simply want their type to be licensed? I've been told by a small foundry that they want the type licensed, and that is their first concern.

Si_Daniels's picture

One vendor told me that when they revise their EULA they don't take away any rights they just clarify especially when new scenarios appear. But I don’t have a handle on how many vendors reserve the right to change terms.

WRT security I would rather have vendors call out the embedding that they’re okay with – PDF, Word, Flash etc., rather than play the security card.

I’d agree that any foundry that has a blanket no-embedding rule is not likely to license many fonts to graphic designers who will abide by this or other EULA terms. But in the OpenType world users will have to hack the fonts to change the embedding bits if they want to embed ‘no embedding’ fonts in PDFs – this raises the stakes.

Cheers, Si

jupiterboy's picture

The only thing I can add is a plea to clarify. What does it mean to alter a font? What is embedding? We are getting to the nuances any rational person would suss out. I think the point about adjusting kerning as altering a font is right on. What about converting to outlines and altering those outlines? What about trap? Blanket prohibitions only lead to more questions.

Any foundry producing or updating a EULA should focus not simply on how to protect themselves legaly but also on how an end user that wanted to respect the EULA could proceed.

John Nolan's picture

Here's another restriction that pops up in a few EULAs: some allow the use of the font software on 5 computers but only ONE PRINTER. So, if you've got a laser and an inkjet, I suppose one of them has to go!

This condition appears, for example, in the EULA offered for E&F and Linotype fonts at Myfonts, but not the Linotype EULA offered at (!?) Anyone else know of examples of this?

Unfortunately for me, doesn't allow font modifications without special permission, while the Linotype EULA at Myfoonts does, so I'm forced to choose between colour printing and say, custom kerning. Hmmm...

BTW, for those of you who may think I'm overstating the import of modification restrictions in EULAs, I'd like to point out that Porchez Typofonderie's EULA specifically forbids altering the kerning of a font:
"The fonts must not be altered in any manner whatsoever, including the manipulation of any of the following: The digital font data in order to mix it with another; its composition; its forms, outlines, or its characters; the position of the characters (in all cases, including spacing and kerning which leave the original font intact)"

It would seem that even using optical kerning within InDesign violates this EULA: note that kerning is forbidden even if it leaves "the original font intact"!

jupiterboy's picture

Good points. My understanding on the printers issue is that they are talking about resident fonts downloaded to the printer's memory. But again, how clear has this been made? And, is it left to the end user to make an assumption?

Si_Daniels's picture

> It would seem that even using optical kerning within InDesign violates this EULA

No, the actual font itself is not altered.

>Unfortunately for me, doesn’t allow font modifications without special permission, while the Linotype EULA at Myfoonts does,

My guess is that the Myfonts EULA for Linotype fonts will be updated soon to reflect the current EULA.

>What is embedding?

This is an interesting one - we say the user has rights to embed the font based on the embedding permissions in the font, and in accordance with the OpenType font specification - which defines embedding. The TT/OT specs are probably the closest thing we have to an industry definition of embedding.

hrant's picture

But the PTF EULA says "... which leave the original font intact"!
So even customizing the kerning in Quark is strictement interdit!


Si_Daniels's picture

Doh, sorry I didn't read the whole thing.

In that case Word and any other WYSIWYG enviroment breaks the EULA. In fact printing to almost any device or rasterizing on any screen would break the EULA - because these devices can't faithfully reproduce the exact spacing JFP put into the font without rounding errors.

hrant's picture

Hey, I have an idea for TypeCon2006:
Have a theatrical play, where each male actor plays the part of a certain EULA, and there's a female font user in the middle (Tiffany?) trying to decide who to go out with. Or wait: a font-user/EULA Dating Game! It all starts nice, but then as Tiffany asks harder questions the cracks start to show. Then you'd have one of the guys break down and start yelling "Don't you touch me!!!" at the end, and another who keeps sneaking peaks into Tiffany's pockets for contraband. A bunch of schizos, basically. And we'd use cool fake names (like Emigraine) for the guys!


John Nolan's picture

"My guess is that the Myfonts EULA for Linotype fonts will be updated soon to reflect the current EULA."

Where EULAs are concerned, even the best of us are left guessing.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Have a theatrical play,

I like it. I've actually been thinking about the opposite angle – a play in which the fonts are set free and mayhem ensues. “The fonts were created by man… but they rebelled” – kind of like the Cylons in the Battlestar Galactica remake.


lorp's picture

I thought it might be helpful to this discussion to post a summary of what Frank Martinez (an experienced lawyer whose words have ended up in most foundries' EULAs) had to say on the subject of the EULA. Frank attended TypeCon2005 and participated in a panel discussion in which Tiffany, Bruno Steinert, Si Daniels, Rich Kegler and I also participated.

I must make it clear that this is a personal impression of Frank’s remarks, and there is some elaboration by me, hopefully clarifying things.

EULAs address three parties
Frank reminded us that EULAs are written with three parties in mind, the last often forgotten in these discussions. 1. The designer/foundry. 2. The customer. 3. A judge. That third party will not accept vagueness: in a court, any imprecision will be interpreted in favour of the defendant. So EULAs, particularly from the long-standing foundries with experience of courtrooms, do not easily get rewritten in “friendly language”.

No silver bullet in writing EULAs
As a composer of EULAs, do not imagine there is a magic form of words which offers “100% protection”.

EULAs as a component of the foundry’s business model
Frank noted that a foundry composes its EULA not just to conform to its business model, but as a key part of its business model. You, as a EULA writer, decide to what extent a customer may exploit your work, thereby adding value to their work. This set of decisions relates strongly to what kind of customer you want to attract. Frank seemed to avoid the subject of what terms might be “reasonable” for a customer to expect from a font EULA, and seemed perfectly content with the idea of a diverse EULA world.

EULAs as psychological protection
It seemed that many of the foundries with whom Frank has worked have had a specific case or two in mind - from the years they’ve been in business - when rewriting their EULAs. It is as if the type designers were taking special precautions not to be stung twice in the same way. Perhaps (I’m paraphrasing now) repeated exploitation on the same basis would be deeply humiliating - not only financially painful. This method of writing leads to texts that seem overflowing with arbitrary exclusions, yet lacking in descriptions of how users are supposed to use the fonts. Thus one sees how the pleasant and readable EULA from a new foundry evolves only in the ugly direction.

Assumption of legal sophistication in the customer
Frank also mentioned that EULAs expect a degree of legal sophistication in the buyer. More sophistication, for example, than the buyer of “consumer” software such as music CDs, movie DVDs, and videogames. There seems then to be this tension from the buyer, exemplified by Tiffany and others here, where buyers are not exactly casual, but nor are they necessarily buying with business and contract law at the forefront of their minds. They see a typeface they’d like to use, the price seems fair, and would like that to be the end of it. (This seems to be to be a general problem, one that may cause surprises in the courtroom, as acceptance of unread EULAs and terms of service becomes universal.)

Small fry=red herring
Frank seemed to suggest that an experienced foundry would not go after customers for small (i.e. non-piratical) infractions of the EULA. A good EULA protects against serious abuses by those worth suing. Almost all small-fry abuse is piratical anyway, protection against which does not require a EULA.

The EULA is a declaration to sue
I, a foundry, will sue you, a user, for using my software. Oh, except in certain specific circumstances, I agree not to sue. Perhaps the allowable circumstances are not defined explicitly(!), but instead the EULA is a list of what is forbidden. This could be safer than statements of what is allowed, since technological advances mean old allowed usages might, in the future, add much more value than originally intended by the foundry. For example, "editable embedding" did not seem terribly dangerous in 1992. Customers have to get over the feeling that a EULA that consists of list of “what is not allowed” is unfair.

-- Laurence

hrant's picture

Laurence: good, useful post - thanks.

> Frank seemed to avoid the subject of what terms might be “reasonable”

Makes sense, for a lawyer. But nobody else.

> ... deeply humiliating

This I believe is quite relevant. I think it comes from the detrimental "artist's pride" psychological complex. Font houses have to tame their egos to make more financial sense. When you get stung, you need to become wiser, not more cavemanlike.

> I, a foundry, will sue you, a user, for using my software.

This is, of course, exactly what's wrong with the thing.

> This could be safer

Only in the most short-term, legalistic way. To me, the most dangerous thing is telling your legit customers you don't trust them. The other ones barely know you exist.

> Customers have to get over the feeling that a EULA
> that consists of list of “what is not allowed” is unfair.

1) In reality, customers have to do jack. The problem is the font house's. Customers can elect to become "pirates" quite easily (especially if they're treated as such from the get-go) and an antagonistic EULA only pushes them towards that. And this is related to why most individuals (I mean non-lawyers) don't read EULAs: it's not worth the effort.

2) I haven't seen anybody complain about that. I have seen people complain that: EULAs are (intentionally?) hard to understand; and some clauses are nothing short of fascist.

We need our users more than they need us.


John Nolan's picture

In an attempt to continue this discussion on a positive note, I wonder if people have examples of EULAs they particularly like?

Some I appreciate:
Process Type, ShinnType, and, of course, Village. Adobe's terms are also attractive to me, although the EULA itself isn't exactly light reading!

jupiterboy's picture

The Mark Simonson EULA is interesting in what it doesn't cover, although I'm not sure which EULA applies if you don't buy type directly from Mark. Storm’s seems to be easy to understand and explicit.

Si_Daniels's picture

People are listening...

Press release

August 2005

New Liberal License Conditions for FontFonts

FontShop International (FSI) has updated the license terms and conditions for their FontFonts. The new rules acknowledge two important user requests regarding the use of fonts on laptops and working with service bureaus and printers. These changes are valid immediately, and even cover FontFonts licensed in the past.

“Many of our customers now work at different locations, they take documents on business trips, work at home, and, in the end, they send documents for output to a service bureau,” says Jürgen Siebert, member of the FontFont Typeboard. “Font licensing should be compatible with these flexible working conditions.”

FontFont’s updated End User License Agreement (EULA) respects this new environment. Users who work both at the office and at home may load their fonts on their laptop — without any effect on the number of licensed users. Licensing is no longer applied per workstation (CPU), but rather on number of users. Supplying FontFonts used in a specific document to a service bureau or printer for outputting is subject to an important condition: the service bureau may output the given document but not make any modifications. After outputting, the fonts must be deleted.

There are also new rules for the internet. If you embed FontFonts in a non-commercial secured PDF, you may put the PDF on your website for viewing and downloading.

The rights of FontFont designers will also be strengthened by the new license conditions. Without FSI’s permission, FontFont data may not be renamed or modified.

You can read and print the new FontFont EULA at

About FontFonts

The FontFont library of digital typefaces was launched in 1990 by Erik Spiekermann and Neville Brody with the goal of producing cutting-edge typefaces by designers for designers. Now representing the work of over 100 designers, the FontFont Library contains over 3,000 contemporary fonts - many of the most popular typefaces in use today - including FF Meta®, FF DIN®, FF Scala®, FF Eureka® Sans, FF Kievit™, and FF Fago™. FontFonts are available at

FontFont and FontFont typeface names are trademarks of FSI FontShop International. Other trademarks mentioned for informational purposes are the property of their respective owners.


hrant's picture

I've been thinking "constructively", but pragmatically
as always, and I'm coming to the conclusion that EULAs:
- Are useful to the user only in helping him not get sued.
- Cannot be made reasonable/intelligible beyond a certain limit inherent in Law/Capitalism.
- Are here to stay, even if most people don't read them.

As a result, I propose the following: leave the EULA field in its "negativist" domain, with all its legalese trappings, but have a second document for decent individual humans. This document (can't think of a name right now) would explain in a normal conversational manner what the font house would like to see happen, and not happen. It might even explain why, and propose direct contact to resolve conflicts or ambiguities. It might start something like this: "Thank you for bothering to read this; it means you're a decent person, hopefully with reasonable expectations. We also have expectations, and we hope they're reasonable. #1) Please..." I can picture somebody who wouldn't read a EULA going to the trouble of reading such a document, making everybody happier. And if they do bother to initiate direct contact, that just means you have a decent customer on your hands, to whom you can sell [more] stuff in the future, with peace of mind. Open, sincere communication is the best long-term strategy I think.

I've loved seeing some font houses try to be more reasonable in their EULAs, but I think it might be better to split the effort into two angles.


Si_Daniels's picture

>but have a second document for decent individual humans.

From ...

13. License Description; description of how the font may be legally used, or different example scenarios for licensed use. This field should be written in plain language, not legalese.

example - This font may be installed on all of your machines and printers, but you may not sell or give these fonts to anyone else.

Cheers, Si

Si_Daniels's picture

This FontFont PR statement strikes me as intetresting...

>The rights of FontFont designers will also be strengthened by the new license conditions. Without FSI’s permission, FontFont data may not be renamed or modified.

The see this as a type designers rights issue. Do they go back and check with the designer when they get a modification request? "John Nolan wants to modify your font, what do you think?" Or do the bosses make the call, or do they have a list of fonts on which modifications are allowed? If so why not publish this list?

Cheers, Si

hrant's picture

I'm not talking just about intelligibility, but more about tone and attitude. For example, "you may not" would NEVER occur in the document I'm thinking of.

The ideological difference between a EULA and this document is that the former assumes an entity will abuse the font house, while the latter realizes that the font house is at the mercy of the user and seeks only to communicate expectations.


Si_Daniels's picture

Not sure I get it. I'd rather have a statement that says "you may not sell or give away this font" than "if someone else other than you wants this font they have to license a copy for themselves", or "sorry the designer is very protective of their work so doesn't allow modifications" rather than "if you'd like to make modifications to this font you're out of luck, you should go and license another font from someone else such as Adobe." Perhaps you could write such a description for an existing EULA (say the FontFont EULA) so we can see how it works.

hrant's picture

None of those, nothing like that at all. I'm talking about something
that has a lot of "please"s in it. Like your friends talk to you.

There's no point getting rid of a EULA, or even softening it up. Better to counteract it, balance it, cater to decent users (the rest either don't read
EULAs or read them to know how impressive a legal department they'll need).


Si_Daniels's picture

Sounds possible, but I'd still like to see an example.

I don't sell a lot of things to friends but here's an example from a few years back, when I did. I had a car that I wasn't using, and a friends car had just blown up. So I sold the car to her for 1/4 of what it was worth. There was a legal document required by the state of Washington, and a negotiated verbal agreement with my friend...

"For the next few years you can't sell or give away the car without checking with me. When you're done with the car I'll buy it back from you for what you paid me for it. You have to take the car to the mechanic straight away as it's been sitting in my driveway for the past six months, and I want to make sure its safe for you to drive. Don't modify (paint) the car. Get the car serviced regualrly."

So I guess I licensed the car to my friend, but the verbal agreement contains a lot of the phrases you'd ban me from using with respect to a font. I think in the circumstances my requirements were reasonable and my friend did too.

.'s picture

Hrant, you know that I'm very amenable when it comes to EULAs, but I think that it's easier and clearer to list the things you DON'T want to happen to your fonts than all of the things which you DO allow.

In the Village EULA we start with "positive" rules, then follow those with exceptions and caveats. I believe that most EULAs work the same way: you can do what you want except X, Y, and Z. That's much shorter than: you can do A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, etc. etc.

John Nolan's picture

"Do they go back and check with the designer when they get a modification request?"

As Danny at FS_SF explained it to me, yes.

He said modification work would first be offered to the designer. If the designer agrees to the modification, but doesn't wish to do the work himself, it would be handled by FontShop itself.

He didn't know of a case where a user would be permitted to undertake modifications himself. I've asked him about kerning alterations, and he's looking in to it for me.

hrant's picture

Simon: I try to avoid mixing commerce and friends too, but you could say that a customer who bothers to read a document outlining your desires (that's all they really are) is in effect exceptionally friendly.

> “For the next few years you can ...

You asked for an example from me, but I think your provided a pretty good one yourself! This is sort of what I was talking about - although it's still a bit too tough - and that works both ways. For example, I would say things like:
- "you shouldn't sell or give away the car without checking with me."
- but also, "I'll endeavor to buy it back from you for what you paid me".

Chester, I certainly agree with your "I think that it’s easier and clearer to list the things you DON’T want to happen to your fonts than all of the things which you DO allow." The only time it makes sense to have a "positive" clause is as an exception to a negative one. For example you could have something like "please don't modify the font, unless your computer is only used by you". What I was actually trying to say isn't that this document (not a EULA!) should avoid being antagonistic by mentioning what one can do with the fonts, but simply by treating the user as an equal (at least).

John, what if the font house asks the original designer, but he says "Hey, I like that malformed ligature", or "I think the mod is a good idea, but I don't want anybody doing it". Or he says "I want to do it myself, but in five years". I personally know a number of cases of such "font squatting", and to me that's just as bad as piracy. Oh, and what if the original designer has become a stubborn old senile prick? Typeface designs are part of culture, and never belong 100% to any single person.


dan_reynolds's picture

Hrant it drives me bonkers every time you bring up this argument!

Just because someone becomes a "stubborn senile old prick" doesn't mean that they loose their rights before the law. And who is to decide when someone has become "unreasonable"? Just because you dislike someone, that doesn't give the right to run roughshod over their work!

hrant's picture

> And who is to decide when someone has become “unreasonable”?

You ask me this every time, and I give the same answer: Each of us, individually. When you think about it, what other choice do any of us really have, in the end? The Law just doesn't cut it, sorry. And it's not a matter of "rights" as much as it is a matter of applying a pragmatic, reasonable existence. All these pretty, petty rights (like freedom of speech - what a joke) we're told we have on TV are nothing but distraction tactics, to get us to be good little cogs, to keep us Legal. The problem of course is that the Law is about money, not Justice.


dan_reynolds's picture

I don't believe that justice would be possible under such a relative system. We would have a free-for-all, and no one's rigts would be protected.

jupiterboy's picture

Oddly that is the usual stance — that things will fall apart without these ideas of law and justice. These are constructs though, and I do believe there is a deep system that works underneath the law/language structure. Everyone is subject to the law they impose on themselves — do what you will and all that jazz. Seems the legal system sets limits on recourse and sets a standard of civility or uncivility as it might be.

To me each person’s own ethical constucts hold the real power, so we might not have a free-for-all as we fear. That's unless we were actually fighting for resources that were scarce. In that case I don't think the imposed legal system would protect us.

Joe Pemberton's picture

What's the difference between (a) fonts embedded in a PDF or Flash and (b) fonts embedded in games, software, operating systems or mobile devices?

The difference is that the latter (b) are products, where the font software enhances the value of the product in measurable terms like usability (closely related to aesthetics), file size and functionality. With the former (a) I see no difference between web sites with GIF fonts or Flash embedded fonts and something with ink on a page.

Since the laws around font licensing center around protecting the software (and not the design copyright) then it's out of necessity that font licensing has evolved the way software has -- versus the way other creative usage rights have evolved.

Now, speaking as an end user, I appreciate the foundries who are thinking about how I will use their fonts. In general, it is really irritating when there are stipulations about PDF or Flash embedding (or EPS outlines!) and I'd say get over it, because I'm going to find another foundry to deal with. Using Chester's analogy, that means I would not buy the car that won't go over 45mph when I know that most often I will need a highway legal car!

* Regarding piracy issues with embedding (not the topic of this thread), I say get over it. Piracy is going to happen and just because some hacker kid will pull your fonts out of a PDF or Flash file doesn't mean you should hamper your font sales by getting so tight with your EULAs. This issue is something for the software makers (Adobe and Macro- er, Adobe) to figure out, not to punish the legitimate font licensees over.

antiphrasis's picture

Not sure if this has been covered yet, but it looks like Letterhead Fonts won't release any new fonts before they have a working activation/copy protection in place (link). It looks like some of their fonts were pirated and they won't have none of it.

Not sure how possible this is, and how it will interfere with the workflow... I'm really curious to see how this gamble will work out.

Joe Pemberton's picture

[Moderator comment: I have to say I appreciate the civil way this thread has been handled by all involved. It's a potentially touchy subject, so it's all the more appreciated.]

.'s picture

I will be curious to see what Letterhead comes up with, and hope that they have much success with it.

I am reminded of the time a few years ago when HTF's fonts - this was before Tobias joined Jonathan - came with an installer which silently placed an invisible Extension into the user's OS 9 System Folder. The fonts would not work without the Extension in place. So if one released a design job using a HTF font, and only the font files were sent to one's bureau, the HTF fonts wouldn't show up. (I forget whether they swapped out to Courier or what happened.)

HTF ended up "recalling" all of the protected fonts and replacing them with non-protected fonts. I assume that they had numerous requests from their confused clients, so had to withdraw their protection scheme. Many of us in the industry were interested by HTF's technology, and were considering similar software or hardware "dongles".

None of which is on-topic. Apologies. c

Si_Daniels's picture

>It looks like some of their fonts were pirated and they won’t have none of it.

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but this type of thing seems to account for the apparently bizarre or arbitrary restrictions in some EULAs - a designer or foundry gets burned in some way and then asks their lawyer to add a clause in their EULA in an attempt not to let the same thing happen again.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I was thinking the same thing, Simon.

Please go to this thread if you want to continue the piracy discussion:

cheshiredave's picture

I just want to say that as a non-type-designing art director, I really appreciate Village's approach. Thanks, Chester.

.00's picture

It seems to me that all of these EULA variations and concerns can be worked out so long as something is allowed to "give". If the end user wants a very unresrictive EULA that allows all the rights they dream of, then they should be willing to pay for that right. No?

Do expansive EULA rights come at a cost? And if so what would that be? I have a feeling it won't be $19.95.

Perhaps this whole problem began when the price of font licensing began to spiral downwards.

Tiffalicious's picture

I agree with you James, as much as I am a graphic designer, I do agree with you. 19.95 doesn't buy much these days.

I've realized that all the points in a EULA, any given EULA, with which I have problems ... issues ... suggestions ... are points at which any give foundry can make additional money from any given person willing to license. As well, I've realized that what a graphic designer considers part of every day business happens to also be those same points. Modifications, embedding, service bureau/printer, laptop/location. New lines need to be drawn. Fonts aren't the most expensive part of being a designer, well not unless you are me ;^), but they are a necessary part of our business.

dezcom's picture

Are you showing a multi-personality dissorder with a second screen name? Or do you only use Tiffalicious when you are a "bored housewife" ?


Tiffalicious's picture

nah just lazy designer.

i don't contend that the following points are potential value-adds for foundries. i argue that some of them shouldn't be though.

chris. what do you think of those points?
- modification -- should we be allowed this, or is it really a value added item and we should pay for the right?
- location -- what is location now? with laptops and so much freelance is this a problem? if I license the type and put it on my laptop should i be allowed to use it where, when and how I want?
- embedding -- PDFs are a way of sharing information now. i use them as proofs and comps to clients. i also send PDFs to press instead of the files and fonts. embedding in SWF could be argued as a given as well. I do agree that anything with the font embedded which is for resale should be a value-add.
- service bureau use -- while i think it INCREDIBLY generous of foundries who do allow for this ... well, I wonder if foundries wouldn't just allow for PDF embedding and then theywouldn't have to do this. If they allow for PDF print/preview as a general rule of thumb but then make an allowance for editable PDF for service bureau press only.

This is me mentally puking all of my thoughts as I have them. as you were.

Tiffalicious's picture

forgot about this one:

the use of the word cpu vs. workstation vs. user vs. device and how should printers be included. personally, this is one that really sticks in my craw. is that right? most agencies/studios now have more than one printer. i posit that inter-office output devices shouldn't be limited. users and/or workstations/cpus ... okay, this i can understand ... but output devices?? c'mon!

Syndicate content Syndicate content