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Distributing fonts... legal?

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  • User profile image
    mark shaxted

    Hi

    I'm writing an app where I'd like to use the Vista 'Segoe UI' font - even on WinXP. This is an OpenGL application.

    However, I don't want to distribute the actual font file, but rather distribute a 'texture mapped' font file - essentially a bitmap with all the main characters drawn onto it. I suppose you could call it a 'likeness' of the font, rather than the actual font.

    Is this legal?

    Many thanks
    Mark

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    mark shaxted wrote:
    Hi

    I'm writing an app where I'd like to use the Vista 'Segoe UI' font - even on WinXP. This is an OpenGL application.

    However, I don't want to distribute the actual font file, but rather distribute a 'texture mapped' font file - essentially a bitmap with all the main characters drawn onto it. I suppose you could call it a 'likeness' of the font, rather than the actual font.

    Is this legal?

    Many thanks
    Mark

    Sounds okay... I heard somewhere you can't copyright a font. I have Consolas on my XP systems.

    Yarr, this be Speak Like a Pirate day.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    mark shaxted wrote:
    Hi

    I'm writing an app where I'd like to use the Vista 'Segoe UI' font - even on WinXP. This is an OpenGL application.

    However, I don't want to distribute the actual font file, but rather distribute a 'texture mapped' font file - essentially a bitmap with all the main characters drawn onto it. I suppose you could call it a 'likeness' of the font, rather than the actual font.

    Is this legal?

    Many thanks
    Mark


    a few things you may want to know:

    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/default.mspx

    has info about MSFT fonts and copyright / trademark stuff.

    Segoe UI is ok to "embed" so some distrubution is ok.

    also lookup Bill Hill @ MSFT as he is the #1 guy on type at MSFT

    as your app is OGL why not embed the outlines ?? then you can scale and texture at load time and allow the app to look better on more screen settings ??
    just seems like a good idea to me (but I am not a Gfx coder so who knows)?

  • User profile image
    SimonDa

    Hi,

    First off, you probably want to talk to a real attorney on this. I don't think there are people here qualified to provide the legal advice you need.

    Secondly, most font makers would view the bitmap font you're creating a derivative font, and most font EULAs don't allow the creation and/or redist of derivative fonts, even bitmap ones.

    Thirdly the "embedding permissions" encoded into TrueType or OpenType fonts only relate to embedding in "documents" not apps. See the OpenType spec fstype section for details.

    Fourthly, we're looking at a redist package for Segoe UI, contact me off-list to get details once it's ready to go.


    Cheers, Si

    Lead PM for fonts, Microsoft typography - simonda@...


  • User profile image
    figuerres

    SimonDa wrote:
    

    Hi,

    First off, you probably want to talk to a real attorney on this. I don't think there are people here qualified to provide the legal advice you need.

    Secondly, most font makers would view the bitmap font you're creating a derivative font, and most font EULAs don't allow the creation and/or redist of derivative fonts, even bitmap ones.

    Thirdly the "embedding permissions" encoded into TrueType or OpenType fonts only relate to embedding in "documents" not apps. See the OpenType spec fstype section for details.

    Fourthly, we're looking at a redist package for Segoe UI, contact me off-list to get details once it's ready to go.


    Cheers, Si

    Lead PM for fonts, Microsoft typography - simonda@...




    hey any chance of getting a 9 video on fonts ??

    for example the embeding stuff...
    many fonts have very poor info on tm/(c) and use & what is ok etc...
    also with regard to use of WPF and silverlight... what's the deal?
    say I want to build a Silverlight app and embed a windows font to make sure that users get a good UI exp. as it was designed.

    also any kind of info on how to check on rights would be cool.
    for example I have a font that a graphics guy sent my boss.
    the (c) info points to a web site that is not up / is now just a search page.
    what should I do ?
    is there any way to just use the font if the designer has "Abandoned" it ?

    stuff like that...

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    SlackmasterK wrote:
    
    Sounds okay... I heard somewhere you can't copyright a font.


    You heard wrong. It's filed under "Art" in copyright law.

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