Understanding the eula

sondre m's picture

Hello

I couldn't find this topic, but my guess is it has been discussed before. If it has, then please point me in the right direction, and sorry.

I'm starting up as a working graphic designer. I love typography and of course want to do right by the people who design type. However, reading, understanding and actually abiding to all the different EULAs is giving me a headache. Some are great, some are a pain in the ass, some are just not understandable.

So, is there any blog, article or some resources online for getting your head around this?

1)Why are there so many silly rules, like that you can only back up the file on one place?

2)If I buy a typefaces, I have the license to use it on up to 5 workstations (I assume this is "at any given time"). What happens if I start working for a design company? Can I use my license if I make the work/type or do the company have to buy a new one?

3)Why does it have to be so hard to keep up? I'm designing a magazine, and I found a beautiful body text. Ok, so out of respect to the foundry I'll cash out the 100 euros they want for two weights, it's well worth it. Ok, so now I got the font and the license to use it, BUT, when I want to put this free magazine of mine online, suddenly I don't own the font anymore. Now I have to rent it, with a price according to download. Now, I have some choices, I can not publish it online. I can change the font for online, or my free magazine doesn't get free. Whattheheck? I think this is the kind of stuff that makes people find free fonts tbh.

That was the things that confuses me atm :P

hrant's picture

Tiffany Wardle once made a great document detailing/comparing EULAs. But things have changed since then (not least all this webfont action) so it should be revisited.

Just one thing real quick: you don't own a font by buying a retail copy; you can only own a font if you commission a custom one.

hhp

Jackson's picture

1)Why are there so many silly rules, like that you can only back up the file on one place?

Because it's complicated and a EULA has to cover a lot of scenarios clearly. Things that might be silly to you as an individual designer can mean a lot to a multinational corporation.

2)If I buy a typefaces, I have the license to use it on up to 5 workstations (I assume this is "at any given time"). What happens if I start working for a design company? Can I use my license if I make the work/type or do the company have to buy a new one?

If you can use the font on 50 workstations total (but only 5 at a time) you still need a 50 workstations license (depending on the EULA, but this is some weaselly bullshit). Also, your company needs to license the fonts if they are going to be used on their workstations.

3)Why does it have to be so hard to keep up? ....

First, you never owned the font, you've purchased a license to use it according to a specific set of rules (that the EULA). Next time you should read it before purchasing. Or you can email the foundry and ask for clarification.

Yes, licensing fonts is confusing at first, it will take time to learn. But it's not *that* difficult to figure out.

karasu's picture

@ sondre m: If you find foundries with agreeable EULAs please add them to http://typophile.com/node/13840 :)

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