Beware of ‘font infringement’

You may not often think about this, but there is a branch within intellectual property laws that covers the illegal use of fonts.

Most designers know this, and won’t recommend paying for a font for one use, and copying it for multiple clients. But wanna-be designers don’t always look at the details.

So this case of NBC being sued by the Font Bureau, may explain how tings work.

I found an interesting document at UNESCO, that goes back to 2003, which states that:

“…the most basic legal rule of font copyright is that unless the license specifically allows it, fonts cannot be shared among multiple computers, even if they are all owned by the same person or corporation, and fonts cannot be given away to others. In all cases the EULA is the authoritative source for specific licensing details.”

Just like software licenses, you can’t purchase a single-use license and use ita cross multiple businesses. Time to look for those errant fonts on the computers in your marketing department, don’t you think?

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