Print Licensing

Plastic Pencil's picture

Ok, so now I'm a bit lost.

I'm pretty new to the concept of font licensing. I'm working on my first commercial project, a small, animated film, incorporating fonts I found in Microsoft and Adobe fonts.

The film itself uses a lot of text with varying fonts in certain spots and if we were to sell t-shirts of the characters, it would have to include some of these fonts as they are a part of the characters. It probably sounds stupid, but it makes sense in the context of the show.

Anyway, the fonts will only be used in a film and printed format. Maybe in a logo as well. But never distributing fonts for use by other users, etc.

I can't seem to get a straight answer if I can legally use these fonts without further licensing in this way.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

John Nolan's picture

Most font licenses would allow these uses. Check the EULA that came with them. If you are talking about fonts that came with Adobe or Microsoft products, I'm pretty sure you're fine.

Plastic Pencil's picture

Well that's the thing, I've looked through XP and Office EULA's and they don't explictly state your right to use with the fonts. I don't think Word 2003 even mentions fonts in the EULA, but 2007 gives a sentence that's really vague.

I even asked a few questions to font licensing companies (and MS, but no response yet). One company told me I needed to buy an additional license because the license I got for using MS fonts only applied to personal use. Another said I was okay under MS's license and did not need further licensing unless I was sharing fonts, etc. Which seems to be the real issue in font licensing from what I can tell.

I did notice that the embedding license restrictions seems to kinda spell out usage, for exporting and so on. I guess I'll have to go by that.

I just want to play it straight, not violate anyone's rights, and compensate people where necessary. You'd think MS and other companies would kinda spell things out a bit more...

The last thing I want to do is get my project finished after what seems like an eternity, start selling it, and end up with a lawsuit over something that can be so ambiguous.

Si_Daniels's picture

>but 2007 gives a sentence that’s really vague.

Can you point out what's vague in this?

"c. Font Components. While the software is running, you may use its fonts to display and print content. You may only
• embed fonts in content as permitted by the embedding restrictions in the fonts; and
• temporarily download them to a printer or other output device to help print content."

Si_Daniels's picture

>The last thing I want to do is get my project finished after what seems like an eternity, start selling it, and end up with a lawsuit over something that can be so ambiguous.

What advice did your attorney give you? Seems strange that they'd send you to an online forum for legal advice.

.00's picture

Si,

I doubt Plastic Pencil consulted an attorney in this matter. That would cost money! But I'm pretty sure it will cost a bit of money to license the fonts for the usage described. The fact that the fonts are being used outside the normal use described by most EULA, makes me think this. Hey but I'm not a lawyer. When I have questions like this, I consult my attorney.

I can say that if our fonts were used in this way, additional license fees would apply.

Plastic Pencil's picture

“c. Font Components. While the software is running, you may use its fonts to display and print content. You may only
• embed fonts in content as permitted by the embedding restrictions in the fonts; and
• temporarily download them to a printer or other output device to help print content.”

What's not clear about this is after you view the permissions of the fonts in the MS viewer, what they really mean. Even the most permissive use doesn't exactly spell out the full extent of the use permitted. Also in Word 2003, there's much less in the EULA regarding fonts.

But I got an answer back from MS though which did clear things up:

"Providing the fonts, or derivative fonts, are not being redistributed, commercial use of the fonts supplied with Microsoft software is permitted."

That's good enough for me. It would probably help if they put that on their website...

As for consulting a lawyer, I did speak to some through my day job and through friends and while none thought it would require further licensing, none could give a definitive answer.

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