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Font license confusion

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Jerry Smith
Font license confusion
on Apr 9, 2016 at 4:18:39 pm

I'm deeply confused by font licensing. I'm most confused by using fonts in videos, so I'll start there.

1) If make your great independent film, and you use After Effects to do the rolling credits and the text in the intro and it is all in Helvetica, does the After Effects subscription cover you?

2) What if you give up your subscription after the film is made, are you still covered?

3) What if you then design an app for your great film using Photoshop, and use Helvetica there? Does the Photoshop cover you?

4) What if you then have a web page that you create with Dreamwever? Does your CC subcription cover you there?

For the purposes of this question, I chose Helvetica on purpose, and here's how it seems for that font:

1) The subscription does cover you for the film credits.

2) I'm not sure.

3) You'll have to get a custom contract for an app. So, time and headaches.

4) You can get a contract for your web page, but you'll have to pay per month depending on the number of page views.

What seems so strange to me is that the most important thing--the use of text in the actual movie--requires no extra money or wading through legal mumbo jumbo, while the other less important things require money and contract headaches.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 2:38:16 am

Simple answer: if you somehow bought the typeface, you're good to go. This includes typefaces that come with Adobe products.

If just take a typeface off a friend's machine that you didn't buy AND you don't have, there could be trouble. Don't do it.

Did you download & use one of the many free (but not all that great) typefaces available? You're okay.

Relax -- unless you're a thief, you're fine.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 12:40:20 pm

Hmm. I don't have any friends, so I certainly didn't get any font from a friend. I only have CC and ten totally free fonts that I got from fontsquirell. But I called a font salesperson the other day to ask about Frutiger I basically ended up hanging up on her after she told me that I needed to sign up for a monthly bankwidrawl and I would have to give her an estimate of the number of pageviews for the website. And we didn't even get to discussing app usage.

If you look here for the CC fonts, you will see numbers 1-4 that indicate difffent terms: https://www.adobe.com/products/type/font-licensing/additional-license-right...

And if you look here, you can see that there are two Adobe plans that go beyond the basic CC terms: https://typekit.com/

And the question still remains what happens if I cancel CC after the project is finished.


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 12:44:29 pm

And on that first Adobe link, you can see that Frutiger only gets a 1. So, I don't think I'm good to go across the board. As far as I can tell, most good fonts payments based on monthly page views.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 5:55:00 pm

Which AE version are you running? Precise version, please. "The most recent one" does NOT cut it.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:21:34 pm

I'm running 13.2.0.49 and I will never ever ever ever be upgrading. I have a monthly license for that.

Actually, you gave me hope and I did some more research. I think I will be OK as long as all my Frutigers get converted to bitmaps even in an app or on the web.

The very strange thing is that while Adobe lists Frutiger in that link I gave above, and here they are listed as the publisher of the font (http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/adobe/frutiger/), Frutiger nowhere appears on Adobe's typekit.com website.

My only guess is that either the owner of the Linotype font is no longer using Adobe as the publisher. Or Adobe has decided to publish it outside their bundles.

I'm probably going to have to plunk down about 150 EUR for three versions of it. Just three short years ago the cost would have been 90USD.

Money is not really the issue though. If you read around, you will see a LOT of people who have VERY SERIOUS work getting needlessly stressed out about OBSCURE font EULAs.


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:34:13 pm

Here's by far the best thing I've read about fonts:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/10/where-can-i-legally-use-my-fonts/


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 10, 2016 at 10:44:20 pm

I got a monthly subscription on myfonts for 18EUR/month. 150 Frutigers to choose from. But it doesn't look as good as I thought it would!


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 14, 2016 at 10:17:02 am

@Dave,

So, you never said. What does my version of After Effects tell you about available licensing through Adobe? Why did you ask?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 14, 2016 at 4:08:23 pm

If it had been an old version, there would probably be a different set of rules. A bought-and-paid-for, own-outright copy of CS6, for example. Or CS 5.5.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jerry Smith
Re: Font license confusion
on Apr 14, 2016 at 11:46:25 pm

IC. Thanks for the help. I'm circling back to Open Sans or Helvetica Neue. Was tempted by Drescher Grotesk, but all the extra licensing scared me away. I actually would need at least two annual licenses. Here, you can see the various licenses for Drescher: https://www.linotype.com/1083703/drescher-grotesk-bt-family.html
N.B., Desktop, Web, App, Server. I decided that it wasn't worth the headaches. Then I read somebody say that geometric fonts look bad in apps. So, that made the decision easier.


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