Are FONTS Copyrighted?

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    • #40288

      I hope I’m overreacting, but can I use any font on my computer in my videos and not get in trouble, even if it’s for commercial use?

      I know all about music and video and copyrighted materials like stories, etc.–don’t use them; create your own.

      But do I have to create my own fonts, too?

    • #173101

      Depends on the font. Many of the better fonts are indeed copyrighted and are (like music, stock video, etc…) licensed for use. Go into your fonts folder and double click on the font and you can see information about the font in question (look at this for American Garamond – Notice the copyright –

      I do not believe you have to worry about using the font as long as it’s properly licensed (i.e. you acquired it legally) but I am not a lawyer and if you need to know for certain I would strongly suggest you speak to an intellectual property attorney.

    • #173102

      Thanks for your input, bidcat! I did contact a shareware distributor of a font I am interested in using, just to do some “research.” His reply was that I could do whatever I want with the font, as long as I don’t resell the font itself. He said he has seen his font everywhere and that’s okay with him. I’m sure to be safe you want to go font by font, though, and make sure they’re okay with it before you go too far with it. Looking at the copyright stored with the font is a great start–thanks for that tip!

    • #173103


      Most of the fonts you’ll encounter are copyrighted. That said, you do have the right to use certain ones for your commercial productions. However (there’s always one of those), it is in your best interest to find out which ones can be used freely and which may not. Any of those sites that have ‘free fonts’ are primarily for personal use. Fortunately, most of the ones you download have little ‘read me’ files with them that will explain what they can be used for and who to contact including the fee (if any for their useage.) The last thing you want to do is get rolling on a for pay project with distribution (at any level) and get nailed because you didn’t check to see if you needed to get permission for a font! When it is proven you’ve violated someone’s copyrights, you get hammered witha finefor each violation in each instance of violation (1 use of a font in 1 production + 1 sale of 1 unit = 1 instance.) So if you used 2 fonts or more you could be hit with multiple violations in a single instance. If you sold 10,000 units that’s 10,000 instances with 20,000 violations! Damages for proven infringement range from (just being stupid) $200 to (willful) $150,000 per violation! Do the math; average penalty is $30k so 20,000 violations x $30k (if you’re lucky)….

      A few hours or days research may keep you out of ‘slavery’ (you couldn’t be in debtor’s prison long enough to pay a penalty like that!) Just say no to copyright infringement.

    • #173104

      Speaking of fonts – Digital Juice recently released a collection of customizable fonts specifically for royalty free use – They really are very nice and reasonably priced (I paid $250 for the first collection of 35 – which came with $50 worth of gift certificates as well – Just bought set #2 this week). I am very impressed with them and they are very simple to use (they have a free utility called the Juicer which makes it a snap).

      You can see them here:

    • #173105

      I found this which appears to show that what I consider a font is not copyrightable.

      Either way, I obtained permission for the font I’m using in my blog. Just to be safe.

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