License Question

stampguy's picture

Wanted to get your opinions on this. The final answer will of course be solicited from the actual font designers.

I own a company that licenses fonts for the purpose of making alphabet stamps from them. I contact the designers of each font, and pay them to license the font for that specific use, and do not retain any ability to redistribute the font electronically.

One of my customers recently contacted me and asked me the legality of using the stamps (created from the licensed fonts) in a commercial venture (making handmade greeting cards). Would this be considered an extension of our license since it uses the product that we specifically licensed for?


dan_reynolds's picture

That depends on the design of the greeting card, and the exact nature of the licensing agreements.

Tiffany Wardle and the guys from P22 know more about these sorts of licensing questions than anyone I know. Maybe they'll chime in.

Diner's picture

Hi Tim,

We do license our fonts specifically for the creation and use with of rubber stamps and die cut alphabet systems (Mostly for Scrapbooking Comanies) and as you are aware this is usually a more significant license due to the reproduction ability of the medium.

Should a customer of yours decide that they want to start a greeting card company using a rubber stamp alphabet, I personally would have no problem with them using the rubber stamps commercially.

Think of it, if they buy the rubber stamps and decide to hunch over an ink pad and jam out a pile of greeting cards, it's no different than if they decided to set the font in Word and print 1,000 of 'em from their ink-jet printer.

As the designer what I'm most interested in protecting is the 'manner of reproduction' not so much the usage thereafter. If due dilligence is taken care with the licensing with the maunfacturer and distributors, then it's essentially a side effect of reselling this type of product.

Stuart :D

Si_Daniels's picture


A silly question, but are the rubber stamps sold or licensed to the end-users? I assume they are sold, with no restrictions on usage. Otherwise you

kegler's picture

I'm with Stuart on this one. The rubber stamps are essentially the font in another format. The licensing of the design is appropriate for rubber stamp makers. The end user uses the stamps to spell out words on a commercial product...fine, they are using the tool (the font design) to make something else. If someone bought a die cutting system with a specific font design to then make an alppahbet set of rubber stamps from, then there would be an issue about a derivative commercial product. But "printed goods" should not really be considered derivative products (in most cases).

stampguy's picture

Thanks everyone!

Your answers were very detailed and helpful!


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