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I'm a long-time member of this fine place, but alas I rarely post. This is the first time I start a thread and I do hope I'm posting in the right forum section.
A few days ago, a dear friend of mine wrote me:
Since the beginning of this year, I've been working in a section of the Publications Office of the EU that deals with copyright. A few days ago I was given the task of revising a part of our site that deals with multimedia publications in terms of copyright. The paragraph about fonts (archaically called "founts") reads:
"Founts are sometimes subject to copyright protection, for example the fount currently used for the Official Journal of the European Communities (Albertina), and are thus not automatically usable in other circumstances without the prior written permission of the rights owner"
I was thinking of rephrasing it like this:
"Some founts are a commercial product and can only be used if they have been regularly purchased. For example, the fount currently used for the Official Journal of the European Union (Albertina) is produced and sold by Linotype GmbH and must be purchased from them to be used."
Then I showed it to my direct superior, who told me that there are open source fonts, commercial fonts and other kinds of free fonts that can be used free of charge only by mentioning the author of the font. I've never heard of the latter category, but maybe you can enlighten me (Google wasn't much helpful).
I told him that I've never actually encountered such a condition of use on fonts. Or at least, not phrased that way. Instead, I have encountered the familiar "This font is free for non-commercial use" or "...for personal use only".
So, what I'm asking you is basically this: Is my friend's boss correct in claiming that there are "other kinds of free fonts that can be used free of charge only by mentioning the author of the font"? It doesn't sound right to me.
Thanks in advance for your attention and insight!