Just incase you’re reading the post unaware of what a EULA (End User Licence Agreement) is; it’s that long-worded, potentially 48-page contract that pops up when you’re installing some software…
Or to those of us who have created that contract, it is our legally-binding contractual agreement with you to ensure use of the software for it’s intended purpose, and not to be misused by any means.
One of the best examples of either someone not paying attention to the agreement they’re writing, or just for fun is from Apple on their iTunes software install:
You also agree you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development and design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons”
WEAPONS. FOR ITUNES.
Exactly what I need when I’m creating nuclear weapons, my ‘Top 25 Most Played’ to keep focus.
But it’s not all doom and gloom…
In terms of fonts, there are certain websites (Retailers) where you can purchase ‘worry-free’ – this means that all of the Type Foundries that make their font available on that site, do so on the same terms as the rest.
So you know you can use any font for i.e. Desktop use, a logo, a presentation, or a static image. You can be confident knowing you’re covered under this EULA.
But it is always advisable to read the EULA and ensure you are covered.
Where you may find different ‘rules’ are between different Retailers, and on each Type Foundry’s own website. This isn’t intended to catch you out, it’s merely a way for everyone to remain competitive by one site offering more ‘bang for your buck’ than another – the enticement is that if one website offers you potentially limitless use, you’ll probably always make that website your first choice.
So what's the answer..
To put it simply, when you buy a font, just read the EULA, particularly the ‘Grant of Rights’ section – it’s usually easy to understand but if not, you can always check with the Retailer or Foundry for clarification.
We’re a nice bunch, we only bite sandwiches!
I have written The Northern Block’s EULA if you’ve purchased from us in the past, so if you’d like to chat to me – even if it’s about a EULA created by someone else – feel free to email me and we can chat it through: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a lot of work to be done in the type industry (and other creative ones too) on what exactly merits being in the EULA as a standard intended use, or another use that requires “additional licensing” — Trust me when I say we’re working on it.