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I spent most of yesterday wading through EULAs and EULA discussions here and elsewhere. (A lot of the threads and resources are a few years old, unfortunately.)
One of the really gray areas for me is reference to "modification" and "derivative works," especially as regards logos. I've been coasting along thinking that these clauses referred to the font software. That I was disallowed from cracking open the code and modifying the invisible 1s and 0s to suit my purposes, or to create another font-focused product - a derivative work - for sale (either directly to the font consumer market or to a design client as a custom in-house tool). While most EULAs are super vague on this, I've recently tripped across some that specifically prohibit logo design (without paying additional license fees). I also found one that prohibited using the font in "blasphemous" works, which really cracked me up!
My standard practice is that I never give a client a font file. If they want to use the chosen further but without my involvement I tell them where to license it (thereby, hopefully, further supporting font designers and foundries). What I do give to my logo clients is a vector version of their logo for whatever use they desire.
This seems to be acceptable practice from everyone with whom I have corresponded on the subject. However, one foundry representative recently told me this is only acceptable practice as long as I modify the letter form to make it my own work. That if I simply use an outline of the company name in the given font without making any changes to the letter forms, then I need to pay for further licensing.
So now I'm wondering what degree of change is needed and does this then violate the seemingly opposing concept of derivative work? (Sorry if these questions are naive, but they are nagging me.)
Attached is a super simplistic "logo" done in completely unmodified Geneva. This post is about the font, so I have added no embellishments that would normally be part of my design process. The plain source image is followed by six variations of same. In all six versions I outlined the font in Illustrator and then began modifying - either wholly or in part - various portions of the outlines.
I'd hugely appreciate it if the font designers or foundry reps on this forum would weigh in on what would be acceptable to them or not as part of a standard commercial-use EULA that would come with a purchase from someplace like MyFonts.com or similar. (Of course anyone is welcome to comment!)
My goal here is to really understand how to honor a EULA. I also want to learn which foundries and designers fit well with my work existing flow and practices (and embrace them and license their designs) and which don't and may need to be avoided unless demanded by my client, who will be willing to pay the additional fees (if any).
A reasonable approach?