Licensing: OS and Software fonts

Ian Jones's picture

We've been sanitising and extending our current font library and we've come across a licensing question I'm finding difficult to answer.

When it comes to publishing websites, printed work and commercial design projects in general, are there limitations on using the fonts that are included with the OS (Windows, OS X) and/or with software? (Adobe CS, Microsoft Office, etc.)

Bottom line, can I use them as freely as I would any font licensed directly from the foundry?

Thanks for your help.

Si_Daniels's picture

Windows and Office EULAs contain a fonts section - it's short (three lines) and written in plain English.

Ian Jones's picture

Thanks SII. Very helpful =P

Do you mean 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.

So the answer to my question would be that the license in this instance does not extend to, for instance, creating a logo or originating any design work in a commercial environment using Calibri?

Fonts installed through the installation of Microsoft Office are not available to Adobe Illustrator/PhotoShop for instance?

Am I over complicating things?

Si_Daniels's picture

Yes, that's the bit. It doesn't really speak to the creation of logos - however we've never had a problem with people making outlined logos using the fonts. It's such a fringe activity for 99.9999999% of our users that it's not called out in the license.

Office fonts are installed as system wide resources so can be used in the Adobe apps you mention. which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Typically we see graphic designers, especially those on the Mac picking up end user licenses for fonts like Calibri from Ascender, just to stay safe, and have licenses that are more like typical font EULAs.

Si_Daniels's picture

ignore "which doesn’t make a lot of sense."

Ian Jones's picture

OK, that helps quite a bit. Thank you again.

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