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.

dezcom's picture

Modification should be allowed in some cases but there must be a clear definition of what is allowable. Anything involving redistribution after mods is not permitted. Mods to make an off-the-shelf face a corporate face should not be permitted without specific written permission and payment. Mods to make language variants is fuzzy to me. If you are adding say Greek or Cyrillic, this is clearly value added and requires payment. If you are adding a few alternate characters for local dialects, this seem fair to me. If you are doing CE where none existed before, I think you need get written permission.
All of your other points (location, embedding, service bureau) involve current work procedures which were not likely when the original EULAs were written. To me embedding fonts in PDFs (with password protection) is not only common practice but a must. It makes more sense to embed a font than send a copy of the font to a service bureau. Editing on site is the big issue. Today designers may be in city A, client in city B, and Printer in city C. In this “I need it yesterday” world, mistakes happen. “Whoops! the figure for net profit for 2005 is wrong on our annual report. Can we change it at the printer’s site?” So what to do? I think printers and service bureaus who do not already own a font should be charged a small “Temporary use fee” by foundries when making mods on site. Sounds fair? but! What a pain to collect and oversee!
Regarding location/CPU/Device—We need to come up with a better term. Perhaps we are talking “Workgroup” or “Project-group”? Meaning the small group in the design office in the project chain (Art Director, Designer, Production artist) including their laptops and all of their proofing devices. I don’t mean an entire ad agency or large corporate design staff, I mean the 1 to 5 people who really work on that project. Most design offices are small anyway and larger ones outsource often to avoid adding full time staff. The sad truth is that a font costs only 20 bucks, a few hundred for a big family. The font designer gets the smallest piece and has the least say . . .—Whoops, soap-boxing again, sorry.

ChrisL

.00's picture

I think workstation is the clearest term. Workgroup and the others are too ambiguous.
"This font software is licensed for use on up to five workstations in one geographic location"
I think that is fairly clear. As to laptop use, I think it should be spelled out in the EULA simply to provide clarity when it comes to agency and large installation use. For most small (1-5)installations, a laptop is just one more workstation, and as long as the laptop isn't permanently kept in another studio in another location I would thik it should fit the terms of the EULA.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thanks for your thoughts, Chris. I'll work through those later and throw a few more questions out there.

--

Studio A is made up of 5 laptops. Studio A licenses a 5-workstation typeface family. The license does stipulate location. Can the 5-workstations work at home?

I argue that defining a license by location is out-of-date.

James, where do you stand on this? What do others think?

I agree that workgroup is confusing and not definitive enough.

.00's picture

Fine, license by location is out of date. 1-5 workstations as a basic licensing level is out of date as well. The whole point of license by location is to control the number of workstations allowed for the licensing level.

1 font user, one price, no discount for multiples, no stipulation on location.

$35.00 single user license, 5 users = 5 x 35.00 = $175.00 installed anywhere you like.

Discounts for multiple workstations only when controlling the location of the installation.

I think we are on to something here!

hrant's picture

A human-user based license is clearly the most
sensical, and the one I myself have always used.

But scalar discounting still makes sense.

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

As a user I appreciate discounting for multiple licenses. But, if we can eliminate the need for a physical location then I'd give that up.

.00's picture

Basic license to allow two installations anywhere, that way a user can install on primary workstation and on laptop, or the user can give one to the service bureau, or to their cousin in the next town so that when they visit there will be the font ready for them to use. A twenty person design staff can buy either 20 copies so they can all have on on their laptop or home system, or they can buy 10 copies and divide it up in the one location.

Does that give you the flexibility you want?

Si_Daniels's picture

Per user, rather than per-cpu, also prevents the loop-hole of server based fonts that hundreds of concurrent users can interact with via the Web or Intranet. This is the case with the Monotype Imaging EULA which defines users as people who can interact with a font regardless of the location of them or the font.

Si

dezcom's picture

I think "work at home," work in a hotel, work on clients site, should all be allowed. The concept of location is fuzzy. Perhaps it is individual user at any temporary location plus fixed location. I design a job at the office, take it home at night to make a deadline, fly to the client's site and make a presentation from my laptop via projection which I prepared at the Hotel. I printed it on 3 printers. This normal work practice.

ChrisL

Mark Simonson's picture

Sorry. I'm a little late to the party.

I agree generally with Chester's sentiments.

I don't have a problem with modification. I will happily modify my fonts for users, but I do charge for that. If a user thinks they can do it themselves, I don't mind. If someone thinks they can improve the kerning, good for them. If they think the K should have a swash, fine. The only thing I require is that they have a legitimate original license for the modified font and that they don't give copies of the modified font to anyone who also doesn't have a legitimate license to the original. I also do not offer free technical support for a modified font.

Something that keeps coming up in this discussion is the so-called "value added" problem: To my mind, anyone who uses my fonts uses them because it adds value to whatever it is they use it for. If someone uses it in a highly prominent way, say for a logo or national campaign, how exactly am I losing out? Because they used an off-the-shelf font instead of hiring me to make a custom font for them? If I see a font of mine used in a prominent way, I am extremely happy, even though it's quite possible that only the minimum 5-user license was purchased. To me, it's free advertising. If anything, for such cases, I would request that the name of the font be mentioned somewhere, as in a colophon.

My biggest concern is that users not distribute my fonts as fonts beyond the limits stated in the EULA (i.e., the number of users). I don't mind embedding of any kind as long as the fonts cannot be practically extracted and installed as fonts separate from the document (or software) in which they were embedded. Incidentally, fonts may technically be extracted from PDFs, but such fonts are diminished versions of the original fonts (no kerning tables, OT features, etc.), so I don't worry much about that.

When I say font, I also don't mean just in the particular format it's in. If someone started selling and distributing rub-down type in one of my fonts, I would have a problem with that, though I'm not sure exactly what I could do about it given that typeface designs have such limited legal protection (in the US at least).

I really don't understand the attitude of some type designers who seem to want to put up all sorts of restrictions about how their fonts may or may not be used. To me, the more you can do with a font, the more valuable it is and the more potential customers I have. A font is not a work of art that needs to be protected to preserve the vision of the artist. It's a tool to be used by others to create things. A font has more in common with a tube of paint than it does a painting.

I noticed that my EULA was mentioned in passing by James H. I agree that it could be better and less ambiguous. Occasionally, I have been asked for a clarification from a customer. In fact, I don't think much of what I outlined above could be deduced from it. I wrote it (or, more precisely, reworded someone else's) years ago when selling fonts was only a tiny part of my livelihood. This discussion has given me a lot of food for thought about how I will rewrite it.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thanks, Mark. Thanks, everyone! This is great to hear both sides. Which is as it should be discussion in the best sense of the word!

jupiterboy's picture

"I noticed that my EULA was mentioned in passing by James H. I agree that it could be better and less ambiguous."

Just to make things clear, that was not a complaint. Mark's EULA seemed a bit less prescriptive in that it didn't bring up a few of the issues that lead to so many unanswered questions. One thing this discussion has brought to light is that certain terminology can be interpreted in many ways by reasonable people.

Thanks Mark for a EULA that allows room to work, and thanks for your comments. It is good to hear your ideas, and I appreciate the distinction that a font taken from a PDF is less valuable for the reasons you describe.

Mark Simonson's picture

James, I wasn't quite sure what you meant when you said my EULA was "interesting." :-) In any case, I do think it leaves a little too much to the imagination so I do intend to rework it.

paul d hunt's picture

I wrote it (or, more precisely, reworded someone else’s) years ago

there should be a EULA dispenser, maybe hosted by typophile, where you can check which options you want included in your EULA, press a button, and, voila!, it spits one out for you.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Oh, excellent idea.

dezcom's picture

How about a copy of MacEULApro: or "iEULA"? or EULAcs the suite?
Nolo Software does this with will writing but that would be the death of us :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

For more religious typefaces, designers could use "Ha Lay EULA" :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I guess I've written my EULAgy now.

ChrisL

Mark Simonson's picture

(In cyberspace, no one can hear you groan.)

Miss Tiffany's picture

*quiet snicker in the corner*

dezcom's picture

Groans and snickers are fine--My daughter would have belted me with a newspaper by now. Good thing she is away :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Looks like Adobe is willing to open up their own fonts but might be prevented from allowing editing on other foundries' work.

"...Several fonts in the Adobe Type Library, including all Adobe Originals typefaces, other Adobe-owned typefaces and certain third-party font foundry typefaces, allow for editable embedding."

ChrisL

John Nolan's picture

People should check out OurType's EULA: it allows editable embedding. This is quite unusual.

Of course, the best EULA in the world isn't much use if the fonts aren't good. Not that there was ever any doubt, but I've got to tell you, I've just started using Arnhem, and, boy, it's a champ!

dezcom's picture

Ms Tiffany,

How did your AtypI discussion go on EULAs?
Did you gain any new insights in Helsinki?

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'm happy to report that several foundries are seriously considering what I had to say. That is not to say that anything will happen, but it is nice to know they understood what I was suggesting. The room was full and there were people standing in the back. Needless to say, when I looked up to start speaking I almost fainted. No, really! At that very moment I realized I was about to tell the industry how to run their business models. Talk about sudden added pressure.

dezcom's picture

You go Girl!

ChrisL

Si_Daniels's picture

Here's an interesting one...

LettError fonts and artwork are licensed for use on 6 rasterizing devices connected to the same network. A device may be, but is not limited to, a printer, rasterizer, video display terminal, CPU, workstation or any device where the font software is rasterized or display of the LettError Font is generated from font software outlines.

...so I have one computer and one printer.

The computer is a workstation = 1 device
The computer has one CPU = 1 device
The computer includes Windows, which comes with TrueType and PS raterizers = 2 devices
The computer has Adobe Acrobat Reader which has a rasterizer (cooltype) = 1 device
The computer has Avalon beta installed (two rasterizers) = 2 device
The computer has Adobe InDesign installed (one rasterizaer) = 1 device
I have two screens attached = 2 devices
The printer is a laserprinter = 1 device
The printer has a rasterizer = 1 device

So under this license one computer and one printer = 12 devices?

Si

Miss Tiffany's picture

Yikes! This is exactly why that wording is antiquated.

crossgrove's picture

Tiff, you rocked at TypeTech. Your words and tone were just the thing to put some spice in the morning's events. I'm glad that you've focused on this topic; the mythical End User had been forgotten in all the legal a**-covering.

Si_Daniels's picture

> spice in the morning’s events

But Tiffany was on after lunch ;-) maybe the jet lag...

But it's true Tiffany's talk was great and the tone and presentation style was perfect for the subject matter and audience.

PS. Carl's talk was a good one too - in fact most of the talks were good including mine ;-)

dezcom's picture

Tiff,
Can you give us a blow-by-blow description of what various parties said to you afterwards? Feel free to leave out names if need be.

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

Just a few comments. Nothing that made me worry. I don't recall any dirty looks. I did hear from a few other people that they heard people saying the wanted to review their EULA. I did make the point that the EULA is now a selling point and they should take me seriously. Well, not in those words, but you get me.

All of the talks I managed to get to in the TechForum were very good. I look forward to being involved, in some way, next year.

dezcom's picture

Great work Tiff! We all owe you a debt of gratitude for taking this on and seeing it through.

ChrisL

.00's picture

Currently our EULA does not allow for modification. So what do you think of a EULA allowing modifications provided those modified fonts are sent to the original font producer and any modifications become property of the original font producer. Sort of like a closed loop open-source!

John Nolan's picture

James:
I would love to see that. I hate to think of people struggling with Type 1 expert sets when some other user has already made an Opentype version with the expert built in. Everyone would benefit.

Si_Daniels's picture

Just like with regular OSS there's a risk of the IP becoming polluted with someone else’s IP - perhaps someone will paste in some characters from another font. You'd probably need to have people fill out and sign an IP declaration form stating that modifications were all their own work.

However just getting the modified fonts back, without ever merging the mods into the shipping fonts would still be useful. It would show the designer what direction licensees are taking the fonts, and the designer could choose to follow that direction if he/she thought it would be of interest to the broader customer base.

.00's picture

I agree Sii. I thing the getting the fonts back is the interesting aspect of this proposal. I doubt the outside modifications would ever get incorporated, but it would be an interesting record of what was going on. One of the reasons we create opentype fonts in very large families is to anticipate most modifications the average user would do.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I think the idea is excellent as well.

Further I also think, wonder aloud maybe, if going to the opentype format will resolve many (some?) of the requests to be able to modify in the first place. As James said, it could be that those type designers that do use the OT format well -- meaning they second guess everyone's needs -- will not have any requests to begin with.

dezcom's picture

I think you are right Tiff. There will be less need for mods. There is an issue of how much value is put in by anticipating such mods so I still think some type designers will feel it isn't worth their time unless they get request for the same feature repeatedly.

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

True. But, type designers, such as James, work with the publishing industry where I would guess it is much better to spend the time while you are knee-deep in creation already to do the fiddly stuff too. No?

hrant's picture

> modified fonts are sent to the original font producer

Sounds good.

> any modifications become property of the original font producer.

Maybe co-property.
So the two parties would have to agree to do anything with it.

hhp

.00's picture

Co-property wouldn't work. I wouldn't want to seek any permission from someone creating a mod on my work. I'd rather not allow it to happen in the first place than to be tied to something like that.

hrant's picture

> I wouldn’t want to seek any permission from someone creating a mod on my work.

Why not? It just means you both have to find common ground. Is that so bad? He is after all a paying customer, and that's something to cherish. Plus it's not like the skills and talent of the guy doing the mod are worthless.

> I’d rather not allow it to happen in the first place

But that puts you back in anti-user land.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

The co-property thing would be a nightmare to administer. What would James do if two or three customers sent fonts back with similar mods, say they add Vietnamese support – would this become a four-way kind of deal? What if someone made an interesting but badly executed mod, which James might at some future date implement properly – would that constitute 20:80 ownership?

The original designer should have the right to maintain control over their IP, but at their discretion they could certainly find some way to compensate a good repeat customer who provides constructive feedback, ideas and re-usable mods – I’m sure a lot of vendors do this already, through discounts and access to beta fonts.

hrant's picture

> would that constitute 20:80 ownership?

It's not percentages, it's more like a set - I mean of people who have a say in the use of the end-result. I agree it's not very slick, but ignoring the "rights"* of people who make some contribution is unfair. I guess this all goes back to the idea of Original Contribution, where I for one think ANY font owes something to other people - and the fact that some of them are dead does not make it OK in my mind. I'm not saying fonts are public property, but I am saying we're all living on the same planet, and a font designer shouldn't belittle the value of somebody who pays money for his stuff and is interested enough to try to improve it (even if the original designers thinks it's not an improvement).

* Quotes because I don't like the usual meaning of the term, I just couldn't find a better one right now.

hhp

k.l.'s picture

> I’m happy to report that several foundries are seriously
> considering what I had to say. That is not to say that
> anything will happen, but it is nice to know they understood
> what I was suggesting. [...] At that very moment I realized
> I was about to tell the industry how to run their business
> models. Talk about sudden added pressure.

Can you, or anyone who attended it, give a summary of the
ATypI EULA discussion? Was there any progress compared to
the TypeCon discussion?

A curious Karsten

Miss Tiffany's picture

It wasn't a discussion so much as several different talks about different aspects. For myself, I basically talked to the foundries from a designers point of view telling them what designers -- those of us whom are conscientious license our type -- really need in a useful EULA.

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