Transferring ownership of a typeface currently distributed as free

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Elling Lien's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2012 - 7:03am
Transferring ownership of a typeface currently distributed as free
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A few years ago I designed a typeface called Half Cut Gothic and made it available for free at Dafont and FontSpace, but now a marketing firm here in Canada has contacted me regarding "ownership purchase". Considering it has been available for free for so long, how is it possible to change that? If copyright-wise this is even possible, how much do you think would be a fair price? ...Anything else I should be wary of?

They don't seem too concerned about the freeware part. Quote:

"Since we have already used the font in some of our pieces, we'd like to continue using it, rather than creating a new font. We are ok knowing that people may have purchased the font already - but would be curious to know moving forward if we could purchase the ownership for the font."

j's picture
j
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Joined: 30 Jul 2004 - 1:49pm
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You really should hire a lawyer.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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1) Pull it off the channels you have control over.
2) Warn them that third parties might still be distributing it, not just using it (which even happens to non-free fonts); and if they mind, they would have to be the ones trying to get them to stop, not you.
3) The price should depend on a host of things, some difficult to nail down. Looking at the font, but not knowing anything about your customer, shooting from the hip I would say $3000 (leaving room for negotiation).

If you're the type to worry that an eventual lawsuit might threaten your assets, do talk to a lawyer. But to me this case doesn't seem tricky enough to waste the money. And remember, you have to keep the lawyer happy too...

hhp

Elling Lien's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2012 - 7:03am
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Lawyers! Terrifying! But good advice. And thank you hrant for the detailed reply.

Fonts distributed for free have a way of spreading across the internet to a million other free font sites, but I'm trying to contact the sites I'm finding it on to remove it.

Considering I don't go ahead with hiring a lawyer, is there somewhere online I could find sample contracts for transferring ownership?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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BTW if/once they get the font send them to
http://www.typesnitch.com/
so they can clean out the free distributors.

hhp

Nick Cooke's picture
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Joined: 25 May 2004 - 2:29am
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Fonts distributed for free have a way of spreading across the internet to a million other free font sites

So do non-free fonts.