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Fonts and legal stuff

07-23-2011, 10:34 AM
#1
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 145
Fonts and legal stuff

Hi,

I am wondering what other devs do regarding fonts and legal use.
I think most people don't even know that, but there is almost no free fonts.
Even fonts tagged "Free" on sites like dafont.com are not free, in the sens that if you use it in a commercial product that will be massively distributed (like a successful iphone game for instance), you have to pay a license fee (can vary, but usually it's more like 4000$ than 100$).

> Do anyone bother about that, or am I the only one?
> What do you usually do?
> Same for localization, what do you do if you want to do a version in chinese or japanese?

Right now, I've done my own font, but for the localization it's a nightmare (accents and all special symbols), and for asian versions I just don't have a solution yet.
07-24-2011, 09:33 AM
#2
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 240
If the licence file attached to the font say that's free for commercial use without any restricution, it's free for commercial use.

07-25-2011, 08:35 AM
#3
There are actually quite a few good fonts online that are 'Free for Commercial Use'. I use dafont.com to find them. You can change filters to only look for free ones, and also make sure to read the readme.txt since they usually tell you if you're allowed to distribute it.

I make games at PixelCUBE Studios! Follow me @naveen_pcs
07-25-2011, 08:43 AM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,005
My understanding is that it is only vector fonts (i.e. Truetype) that are subject to licensing. Screenscraped text in raster formats like png are fine.
07-26-2011, 01:42 PM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
My understanding is that it is only vector fonts (i.e. Truetype) that are subject to licensing. Screenscraped text in raster formats like png are fine.
Where did you find that out? As I understand it, you can infringe a copyright whatever the format.
07-26-2011, 02:05 PM
#6
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Berlin
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
My understanding is that it is only vector fonts (i.e. Truetype) that are subject to licensing. Screenscraped text in raster formats like png are fine.
That's not quite true.

There's a lot of fonts out there that can be used freely as rasterized format. For example you can use the fonts comes with Photoshop as long as you don't include any vector format of font that can be obtained and reused by your end users.

So that's the bottom line. Unless specifically stated, I don't think you can distribute any vector format of fonts you got.

Besides that, you need license to use most fonts you find online, for your website, artwork or video game. Most of the case they charge money for the license, but you can still found a lot of free license out there.

My favorite website for free fonts is http://www.fontsquirrel.com/
Their stuff have good quality and variety.

If it's not enough you can search "free fonts" in google for more. But make sure to check first if the website has the license they claim.
07-26-2011, 07:30 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
I have licensed fonts for commercial use. I have never paid $4000. I think the most I paid was $50 and that was for Triculator:

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07-26-2011, 09:07 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonjump View Post
Where did you find that out? As I understand it, you can infringe a copyright whatever the format.
http://nwalsh.com/comp.fonts/FAQ/cf_13.htm
07-27-2011, 07:50 AM
#9
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Interesting. It should be noted it refers to USA only, which differs from other countries on many IP matters, so I wouldn't assume this applies in all App Store markets.

Design Registration is another form of registered IP protection that could apply to fonts (I don't know if it works in the same way outside the UK). As that relates to appearance, it would apply to both raster and vector formats.

With so much international variation in IP laws, I play safe and make sure a font is really free before using it. dafont.com fonts often include a readme file that clarifies usage, and links to the creator's website which often confirms the info.
07-28-2011, 12:00 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 145
Interesting. Thanks for the link to Fontsquirrel. I found some that are actually clearly free to use for commercial use. But not all are, some are free to use but with a restriction for stuff like iOS apps.

Here is another site that distributes and create font that are free for commercial use:
http://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/
Hope might be useful for some of you.